A new vegan investment fund, Veg Capital, has just been launched by vegan entrepreneur and co-founder of the plant-based campaign Veganuary Matthew Glover. Veg Capital will provide funding to plant-based and cultivated companies working on slaughter-free food substitutes, and all of its profits will be donated to animal welfare charities in Europe and the United Kingdom.
Veg Capital will provide Angel, Seed and Series A funding to startups and entrepreneurs who are working in the alternative protein space, including plant-based and cultivated food techs working on meat, seafood, dairy and egg substitutes.
Investments by the early-stage private venture fund will range from US$62,960 to 314,800, with room to consider larger investments for the “right opportunity”. All profits generated by the fund will be donated to charities in the United Kingdom and Europe who are working on animal protection and conservation.
Glover, who will lead as managing director, says that the mission of Veg Capital is ethical and environmental – to reduce our burden on our climate-stricken planet and save animal lives while creating a food system that is sustainable, healthy, and resilient to crises.
“Our aim is to drive up the supply of vegan foods while driving down demand for animal products – we invest in plant-based foods and then through our philanthropy help raise awareness and increase demand for that food,” said Glover. “It’s a double whammy of activism.”
Cliff and Simi Johnson will also be leading the team as financial advisor and investor relations respectively, and will bring in their experience as co-founders of their own plant-based investment fund Johnson Resolutions. Nimesh Shah, who operates as a finance director to multiple startups in the plant-based world, will act as Veg Capital’s accountant and advisor.
Already, Veg Capital has provided funding to eight food techs in the alternative protein space. These include Leeds-based Mighty Pea, whose yellow split pea-based milk is stocked in some of the biggest supermarket chains such as Sainsbury’s and M&S, 100% plant-based online supermarket and subscription service TheVeganKind, and vegan tuna brand Good Catch, who has recently reeled in a number of celebrity investments.
Interest in plant-based eating has been steadily increasing over recent years, but it has become a real focal point amidst the coronavirus pandemic, which has shed light on the vulnerabilities of our current food system, from slaughterhouse viral outbreaks to the link between industrial animal agriculture and rising pandemics.
Consumers have responded by purchasing more plant-based food than ever before. According to data commissioned by SPINS in the United States, plant-based food sales have jumped a whopping 90% at the peak of the panic-buying in March and April compared to the same period last year. Sales of vegan meat in particular grew a whopping 280% in the country.
In Hong Kong, food delivery operator Deliveroo released statistics showing a 100% year-on-year increase in vegan food orders, with 20% of the spike coming in the first few months of 2020 when the pandemic hit the city.
With investor interest in big meat growing increasingly shaky, more are looking to put their money into alternative protein companies. According to a new report by the Good Food Institute (GFI), startups in the space raised a whopping US$930 million in the first quarter of this year alone.
“Investment in this space remains strong despite Covid-19, with several plant-based meat companies raising significant funds recently,” commented Glover.
“It is no surprise then that the number of investors in this sector is also on the rise and Veg Capital welcomes the opportunity to collaborate and co-invest with other like-minded funds and individuals.”
Lead image courtesy of Good Catch.