LONDON, United Kingdom — Plant-based meat brand THIS, has smashed records by becoming the fastest ever campaign to hit £1.5m on crowdfunding platform Seedrs.
The makers of hyper-realistic plant-based food, including ‘bacon rashers’ and ‘chicken goujons’ have now raised more than £3.5m since the launch of the campaign on 10th August, with £2m secured before it fully launched to the public.
Speaking about the success of the campaign, co-founder Andy Shovel commented: “We’re truly honoured that so many people have deemed THIS to be worthy of their investment; we’ll keep over-working and ageing abnormally fast, in the hope that we make them a massive return.”
According to Shovel and co-founder Pete Sharman, the plan is to use the fresh capital to accelerate growth and increase distribution, as plant-based sales continue to skyrocket by as much as 264 percent in the US alone, and supermarkets in the UK report strong sales of plant-based products amid the coronavirus pandemic.
With investment in plant-based meat brands also at an all-time high — $930m was invested in companies producing plant-based meat and dairy alternatives or cell-cultured meat during the first quarter of 2020, according to data from the Good Food Institute — THIS’ latest funding round puts it in a strong position to leverage growing momentum within the category.
With ambitions to build a ‘Willy Wonka-esque plant-based innovation centre, launch new products and launch in two more of the ‘big four’ supermarkets’, investors backing the UK-based company are confident the brand can capitalise on one of the most important trends in nutrition: strong demand for tasty plant-based meat alternatives.
However, this macro trend alone doesn’t explain THIS’ success, argues Andre de Haes, founder of Backed VC, which participated in the funding round.
“The team at THIS blend exceptional hyper-efficiency with both ground-breaking R&D and innovative marketing,” he commented. Adding: “It is unprecedented to see a startup food product achieve widespread supermarket distribution right after launching.”
Having sold more than 5 million portions of its plant-based meat since launching in June 2019, and boasting growth at a compound rate of 700% in the last year, other venture capital firms involved in the round, including Five Seasons Ventures, Idinvest Partners, Seedcamp and Manta Ray Ventures, are no doubt also banking on the fast-growing company continuing its upward trajectory.