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Backed by NBA player Ricky Rubio and footballers Sergi Busquets and Sergi Roberto, Barcelona-based Heura says it’s gearing up for what will be one of the biggest Series B funding rounds for the vegan meat sector in 2023.
Heura is offering convertible notes as part of its next fundraising round, a symbolic commitment it says to the 21st-century food transformation. The investment includes backing from NBA star Ricky Rubio, football players Sergi Busquets and Sergi Roberto, comedian David Broncano, and Unovis Asset Management.
Heura kicked off the bridge funding earlier this year through crowdfunding. It says it raised more than €4 million in just 12 hours with more than 5,000 people participating. It says that Equity for Good Rebels campaign broke “traditional investor norms” with approximately half of the investors falling in the 18- to 35-year-old age range, and 42 percent identifying as women.
Already the leader in Spain’s plant-based meat sector, Heura owns approximately 80 percent of the category growth and a 30 percent market share. That momentum is carrying the brand across borders throughout Europe as it sets its sights on greater expansion. The new funding will help to accelerate its expansion goals.
“Having mission-driven investors on board who dare to take bold action to accelerate the plant-based protein transition gives us the resources to continue driving category growth across Europe,” Heura co-founder, CEO, and self-proclaimed “food activist,” Marc Coloma said in a statement. “We have a clear vision, and this new funding will help us transition from a successful Spanish plant-based company, to a net positive food-tech startup that’s leading the protein transition across Europe. This growth path is designed to bring us into 2023 in position to close the largest Series B rounds in the industry, and usher in a future that’s better for the people, planet and animals.”
Coloma and Bernat Añaños founded Heura in 2017 as a purpose-driven company. And that commitment remains today, the founders say. Heura says it’s “immensely proud” of its positive impact, and pledges to continue to build on it by making food that’s beneficial to both the environment and animal welfare. It measures its success not just in fiscal returns but also in its resource and emissions reductions as well as animals’ lives. In the first half of 2022, compared to conventional protein, Heura estimates it reduced the need for water by approximately 55.9 million liters, decreased CO2 emissions by 3.6 million kg, and spared the lives of 509,000 chickens, pigs, and cows.
That commitment is translating to sales; Heura saw more than 100 percent year-on-year growth last year. It says the new funding will support expansion across existing markets in France, Italy, and U.K., while also opening new markets in countries including Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. The latter just saw the Dutch government make a big €60 million investment in cellular agriculture to support the country’s growing shift away from conventional meat and dairy.
The funding will also support the company’s first patent and expansion into new foods that Heura says are “nature-positive, nutrient-dense, and achieve culinary excellence.”
Heura has seen a productive first half of 2022, reaching €14.7 million in turnover, up from €7.6 million in the first half of 2021. Much of that success can be credited to placement in leading European retailers including Ocado in the U.K., Migros in Switzerland, Carrefour in Italy, E.Leclerc, Intermarché, and Super U in France, among others. Heura says new European retail partnerships will be announced this year.
Images courtesy Heura.
Correction: This article originally described Heura’s latest funding round as a Series B. It is in fact a bridge round. We regret the error.