Spanish alt-protein startup Heura has overtaken its latest crowdfunding target four times over, in a mere 12 hours, attracting €4 million and counting. Initially looking to secure a total of €1 million for expansion, the company has confirmed it met that goal in just 30 minutes, during its early access phase on Crowdcube. The round marks Heura’s second ‘Equity for Good Rebels’ campaign, which gives the public (and its substantial audience of consumer fans) an opportunity to support the brand.
So far, more than 4,700 investors have clamoured to become ‘Good Rebels’. Half of the participants are estimated to be aged 35 and younger, with Millennial and Gen Z backers likely tempted by the €20 minimum pledge. The campaign has six more days to run, affording Heura, a certified B-corp, an opportunity to garner much more money.
Heura’s rise to the top
In January it was announced that Heura had doubled its sales of olive-oil based plant meats. Alongside, its global presence grew by 333 percent. Last year saw a reported turnover of $17.7 million.
Heura has already enjoyed significant success with its fundraising activities. In June last year, €16 million was scooped in a Series A round led by Impact Fooding. The investment was earmarked for the subsequent development of vegan pork analogues. Impressively, the round came just weeks after Heura got its first taste of crowdfunding oversubscription. Back then, the company revealed it raised €4 million in 24 hours, twice the timeframe needed this time around.
“The response to the Equity for Good Rebels crowdfunding campaign is a proofpoint that as a global community, we can and will uproot the failing food system,” Marc Coloma, Heura CEO and co-founder said in a statement. “We will leverage this milestone to further increase availability to healthy, plant-based foods that better align with the values and needs of today’s society.”
The startup has publicly declared its fundraising success as irrefutable proof that the mantra of “it has always been done this way” no longer stands. It has declared that a new food system evolution is in progress and a better way of conducting business is possible.
Disrupting the meat industry
Through a combination of heartwarming, funny and provocative marketing campaigns, Heura is seeking to bring forward targets of replacing 60 percent of animal meat by 2040. The company has revealed ambitions of seeing the figure met by 2030 instead.
At present, Heura is sold in 20 countries worldwide, in more than 13,000 outlets. Rumour has it that the startup is about to announce distribution through Ocado in the U.K. If true, this will prove to be a major coup and a guaranteed way of reaching a new demographic of consumers.
Plant-based fundraising proving irresistible to investors
Heura is not alone in enjoying significant investment. In March, Israel’s Plantish announced a record-breaking seed round. Launched to scale its hyperrealistic salmon analogue, the funding opportunity brought in £12.45 million, the largest ever alt-seafood seed round.
Also in March, Mycorena snared $26.8 million in the biggest ever Nordic Series A for vegan protein. The Swedish startup will use the investment to take its proprietary protein, Promyc, from prototype to production and launch phases. It came as fungi-based protein is identified as a burgeoning sub-sector of the plant-based industry.
At the start of the year, China’s Starfield Food Science & Technology bagged the country’s largest-ever investment amount for plant-based meat. Netting $100 million in a Series B round, the company’s success was widely regarded as a sign of shifting mindsets within China. This was later backed by the sector being mentioned by President Xi.
All photos by Heura.