UK meat alternatives maker This has raised £15 million from institutional and crowdfunding investors, as it eyes expansion into overseas markets.
The brand was created by Andy Shovel and Pete Sharman, serial entrepreneurs who were previously behind gourmet meat burger delivery concept Chosen Bun, before selling the business in 2016.
Shovel, who is now vegan, has said in interviews that the duo wanted their next venture to be something sustainable and explored a number of areas, including electric cars, before alighting on plant-based meat.
This – which recorded revenue of around £2 million in February – is targeting rapid growth and launched a slew of NPD in 2022. In January of this year, the company introduced a “hyper-realistic” vegan streaky bacon, which uses the brand’s patented Fat 2.0 ingredient to mimic the appearance and cooking behaviour of animal meat.
This’s latest funding round included £10 million from venture capital firms – with BGF, Lever VC and Five Seasons Ventures all among the backers – as well as the proceeds from a raise on crowdfunding platform Seedrs.
“We’ve managed to buck the miserable fundraising trend at the moment and close a fantastic funding round for the brand,” said Shovel.
“Our investors’ confidence has predominantly come from our punchy growth and really strong R&D pipeline. We’ve also got lots of data to show that we’re championing the recruitment of meat eaters into the plant-based category, who haven’t shopped in it before. We’re all really excited to go from plucky SME to industry-leading powerhouse.”
The brand plans to use the investment to consolidate its supply chain, fund advertising campaigns and bolster its R&D capabilities, and says that it has its sights set on “going international” this year.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2022
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