Partnering up with Vegan Business Tribe, the U.K.-based online community of plant-based business owners, popular fundraising platform Crowdfunder has created a new initiative dedicated to support animal-free startups. More than 20 businesses are part of the Vegan Start-up Scale-up to collectively raise money through rewards-based funding campaigns on dedicated portals featured on both Crowdfunder and Vegan Business Tribe websites.
The Vegan Start-up Scale-up project launched by Crowdfunder and Vegan Business Tribe aims to make it easy for people to back value-aligned companies developing plant-based solutions. Over 20 vegan startups are part of the initiative, working together to pool together their fundraising potential with the goal of raising more than £600,000 (approx. US$838,000) to fuel their scale up, launch and expansion plans.
“Crowdfunders are an excellent way for start-ups to raise cash. However, running a successful campaign can be difficult,” said David Pannell, who co-founded Vegan Business Tribe with Lisa Fox in 2020 as a platform to help its members adapt to the pandemic and build a community of plant-based business owners, launching various programs such as a marketing “viploma” online course to help entrepreneurs scale up their impact.
“By pooling our efforts through Vegan Start-up Scale-up, we create an economy of scale, boosting our fundraising power,” added Pannell.
Crowdfunders are an excellent way for start-ups to raise cash. However, running a successful campaign can be difficult. By pooling our efforts through Vegan Start-up Scale-up, we create an economy of scale, boosting our fundraising power.David Pannell, Co-Founder, Vegan Business Tribe
Many young food techs feature on the list of startups who are part of the campaign, including mushroom-based alcohol-free craft beer makers Fungtn; Wheat Meats, a vegan bakery developing a just-add-water seitan mix; plant-based dog food startup DoGood; non-profit plant protein company Phyton; mushroom-based vegan street food concept Meat’s Out!; plant-based dessert firm Kambee; vegan frozen ready meal brand Root Kitchen; and Vegan Dunk, a 100% plant-based artisan biscuit delivery service.
These companies were a part of a 50-strong cohort who completed a bootcamp programme organised by Crowdfunder and Vegan Business Tribe. Using the crowdfunding model, startups will be able to raise capital without selling equity of their business, instead offering people who support their business with products or rewards, ranging from vegan skincare to plant-based beers. Each business in the project determined their own crowdfunding targets and will secure the money raised individually.
Aside from food techs, a number of other plant-based businesses are also raising funds through the collective project, ranging from fashion to skincare and more. These include eco-friendly beauty range Happy Carrot Skincare; vegan knitted accessories label Vegan Handknit; Earth Warriors, a zero waste shop based in Darlington; beauty and style guide The Tropical Duchess; and Vegan Vouchers, a plant-based discount card scheme.
By sharing the products as a reward for funding, I’m hoping to build relationships that last beyond the initial Crowdfunder.Victoria Carpenter, Founder, Happy Carrot Skincare
Educative and awareness-raising organisations feature on the list too, such as vegan online course platform MycoLearn; the renowned vegan food festival VegfestUK; the Conscious Community Project whose work focuses on promoting a circular economy and sustainable living; and Primary Veducation, a range of resources encouraging schools to be inclusive of children who follow a plant-based lifestyle.
Victoria Carpenter, founder of Happy Carrot Skincare, says the group Crowdfunding initiative goes further than simply raising money to fuel brands’ business plans, but also allows them to reach out to their future base of consumers.
“The Vegan Start-up Scale-up doesn’t just raise funds for my business, it’s helping to introduce it to an audience that are primed to be loyal to it,” commented Carpenter. “By sharing the products as a reward for funding, I’m hoping to build relationships that last beyond the initial Crowdfunder.”
Lead image courtesy of Unsplash.