Canada-headquartered online vegan marketplace Vejii has signed an agreement to acquire U.S. plant-based e-commerce platform Vegan Essentials. The move will double down Vejii’s presence in the fast-growing online marketplace, in the midst of the mainstream surge in flexitarianism and plant-based lifestyles. In the same announcement, Vejii revealed that it is raising C$10 million (approx. US$7.9 million) to fuel its continued expansion.
Vejii Holdings, Inc., the firm behind the Canadian online vegan marketplace that offers everything from plant-based meat and groceries to sports supplements, cosmetics and household products, has announced the acquisition of Vegan Essentials. The U.S. e-commerce store Vegan Essentials stocks some of the most popular plant-based food brands on the market, including Violife, Field Roast, Gardein, Daring and Good Planet Foods, as well as plant-based personal care, vitamins and vegan fashion accessories.
Since its inception in 1997, Vegan Essentials has grown to become one of the largest exclusively plant-based retailers in the country and stands as the longest-operating cruelty-free retailer within the U.S.
Vejii, which first launched just four months ago, says that the acquisition will help the company establish a stronger foothold in e-commerce, as consumers show no slowdown in the shift to digital online shopping.
We believe that over time U.S. plant-based products sales could grow to in excess of a US$20 billion total addressable market opportunity.Darren Gill, President, Vejii
“Vejii is set to acquire one of the most trusted names in vegan retailing to establish an undeniable presence and reach in the online marketplace,” said the company in a press statement.
Kory Zelikson, CEO of Vejii, added that the purchase will offer an “established asset” for the firm to “accelerate growth within the plant-based market and will solidify Vejii as the market leader for online plant-based sales within the U.S.”
The latest figures show that plant-based food retail in the U.S. has surpassed US$7 billion, growing twice as fast as conventional animal-based product categories.
Other plant-based online retailers that are competing in the space include VEDGEco, a Hawaii-based vegan bulk wholesale store that has expanded its delivery coverage to all U.S. states nationwide amid the surge in plant-based demand, as well as Canadian e-commerce platform PlantX that landed in the U.S. in late 2020.
“Based on consumption habits we have seen in the U.S., we believe that over time U.S. plant-based products sales could grow to in excess of a US$20 billion total addressable market opportunity,” commented Darren Gill, president at Vejii.
Vejii is poised to leverage the rapid growth of the plant-based online retail market, driven by consumer demand, access to new products, and the largest selection of plant-based products in one place.Ryan Wilson and Mary Ernster, Co-Founders, Vegan Essentials
In the same announcement, Vejii revealed that it has kickstarted a capital raise of C$10 million (approx. US$7.9 million) led by Eight Capital, through a syndicated brokered private placement of special warrants of the firm.
Adding Vegan Essentials to its portfolio will help the startup tap into a broader customer base and the U.S. company’s supplier network and distribution channels, while Vejii continues to enhance its own tech stack.
“Vejii will leverage over 20 years of consumer insight and data from VeganEssentials.com, as the online grocery market has the potential to exceed traditional retail shopping over the long-term and will help fuel our growth for years to come,” explained Zelikson.
“With this acquisition, we believe Vejii is poised to leverage the rapid growth of the plant-based online retail market, driven by consumer demand, access to new products, and the largest selection of plant-based products in one place,” added Vegan Essentials co-founders Ryan Wilson and Mary Ernster.
Lead image courtesy of Unreal Deli.