PopUp Bagels, the viral bagel startup which has skyrocketed in popularity, on Tuesday announced it has closed an $8 million capital raise to fund its future growth and expand its executive team.

The round was led by Stripes, a NYC-based growth equity firm which has funded such iconic brands as Levain Bakery and Erewhon Organic Grocer. Investors in the previous round including Darren Rovell’s Tastemaker Capital and Habitat Partners, the investment arm of Red Antler, also returned to coinvest.

PopUp Bagels was launched in the pandemic in 2020 out of the home kitchen of Adam Goldberg in Westport, Conn.  After handing them out to neighbors, word began to spread about what made them the best bagel on the planet — the crispy outside, chewy inside and the perfect amount of seeds.  Soon, people began to pay for them by ordering them online days in advance and picking them up at specified times and locations.

Having won the Brooklyn Bagelfest’s “Best Bagel” two years in a row, PopUp engaged in a significant raise last year led by Hollywood producer and food concept investor John Davis. The capital allowed the company to, among other things, expand their retail footprint in Greenwich, Conn and Greenwich Village.

Thanks in part to the buzz from influencers like @SistersSnacking and the app Beli, and more than 10 million views of its product on TikTok, block-long lines formed with native New Yorkers and out-of-towners to get a taste of these circles of dough.  PopUp also has a long list of celebrity investors, and even recently had Paul Rudd and J.J. Watt, working the store together to be more hands on in the action.

“When I started all of this out of my home, it was just because I thought the bagel could use improvement,” says Goldberg. “I am so humbled by the response over the last year, from the hour-long lines that form to the simple first reactions in the most scrutinized market for this product. It was not long before I realized we needed to finance our operation to allow more of the world to experience the PopUp Bagel way.”

PopUp Bagels, whose motto is “Not Famous But Known” doesn’t just sell the bagel. It has revolutionized the whole experience. Consumers buy “Bagels not Sandwiches” and you can’t just buy just one. Bagel buyers choose 3, 6 or 12 fresh from the oven bagels and are encouraged to grip, rip and dip them into artisan schmears, like Utz Cheese Ball Cream Cheese or Bowery Farms Basil Pesto Butter, with flavors and brand collaborations changing weekly.

Emerging Concepts, Fast Casual, News