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Singapore’s abillion, the global eco reviews app that has over one million users, has announced a $10 million Series A investment round was led by New York-based venture fund 1/0 Capital. Funding has been earmarked for product development and app extension. A peer-to-peer marketplace within the platform is being cited as having the potential to turn users into sustainability entrepreneurs.
Founded in 2017 by former investment banker Vikas Garg, abillion was launched as a plant-based dish review platform. Today, the platform showcases reviews for sustainable products of all kinds. One million users have signed up to rate sustainable businesses across 162 countries to date. For every review, abillion donates funds to a growing list of animal welfare and environmental charities. So far, the startup has pledged over $1 million to various NGOs.
The next phase
Already popular with consumers, the abillion platform is gearing up for its next growth phase. The completed Series A funding round will allow Garg and his team to intensify the reach that the company has into planet-positive initiatives. Funding partners were keen to come on board after witnessing the impact made since its debut. Key investors include SDG Impact Japan figures Mamoru Taniya and Bradley Busetto. Timo Recker of Next Gen Foods and Zurich-based venture fund Blue Horizon also participated in the round. The latter has previously backed Impossible Foods, Beyond meat, and JUST. They also invested in Garg’s mission at the outset.
“We’re delighted to support abillion, a platform that can inspire users, provide daily utility, drive purchases, and promote advocacy while creating real impact for the planet,” Ziggy Jonsson, senior partner at round leader 1/0 capital told Forbes. “The team has made phenomenal progress and we’re excited to support Vikas in making sustainability a habit for everyone.”
To date, abillion users have published more than one million reviews. They cover in excess of 60,000 products and brands. The new funding will be used to get abillion closer to its ultimate goal of encouraging the next generation of sustainability champions to mobilise.
“We have a long road ahead in achieving our target of one billion people committed to plant-based living and a more sustainable planet,” Garg told Forbes. “Completing our Series A is a significant milestone and we’re excited to make a far greater impact for our planet in 2022 and beyond.”
Sustainable social media
abillion differentiates itself by leveraging social media for sustainability. Reviews are designed to help users share their experiences and knowledge and support their plant-based living and conscious consumer choices. Garg has created a digital ecosystem that is evolving to include an online marketplace. Users will be able to sell sustainable products and services via the platform as a result of additional built-out functionalities following the Series A round.
“A social media platform dedicated to the planet makes a lot of sense to us,” said Busetto in a post-investment statement. “Helping people make smarter decisions around what they eat and wear and connecting those choices back to measurable impact for society, animals and the planet. We’re pleased to invest and back a strong team and founder with such a unique vision.”
A digital revolution
abillion isn’t the only app helping to bring sustainable minds together. Earlier this year, New York-based Veganzone announced it had secured $3 million to continue the development of its plant-based connection platform. Funding came from the Istanbul-based Focus Global Project. The investment supported growth in the 40 countries that it is already available in.
Elsewhere, Veggly celebrated a milestone of its own. The dating app for vegans and vegetarians announced that it had created one million ‘veg-matches’ since its launch in 2018.
Lead image courtesy of abillion.