Singapore-based review app abillionveg announced a seed funding round of US$2 million in funding, which is globally, the largest seed fund round for a plant-based startup in 2019. This follows other record-breaking funding news in the plant-based world earlier this year, including Beyond Meat’s IPO and Impossible Foods’ US$300 million Series E round.
Securing the US$2 million in seed funding led by 500 Startups, abillionveg’s total funding now stands at $2.6 million. In addition to global institutional investors such as New York’s 1/0 Capital, Zurich-based Blue Horizon Group and Singapore’s Calibre Ventures, the company is now also backed by influential figures like gender-equality activist and Room to Read founder John Wood.
abillionveg was founded in Singapore by Vikas Garg to drive a global movement for plant-based food and cruelty free products through a community-driven review platform. Members earn credits when they post insights on plant-based menu items, vegan food and cruelty-free retail products, which turn into donations for organisations working on animal and marine welfare. The overarching goal of the company is to encourage a billion people to adopt a plant-based lifestyle within the next decade, and donate US$1 billion for the global animal rescue and advocacy movement.
Since its inception in May 2018, over 50,000 reviews have been submitted for vegan dishes and consumer products across 90 countries. In particular, the company has seen a 40-50% growth in key locations including Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, Canada, the US and UK and according to the company, it is the fastest growing plant-based review platform globally.
The announcement of abillionveg’s funding round and encouraging growth reflects the rising trend of eco-friendly, health-conscious and plant-based consumers around the world and in Asia. A 2018 Hong Kong survey by Green Monday indicated that more people are choosing flexitarianism in the city, and Singaporeans have displayed an appetite for more meat alternatives and vegan options in restaurants. Asia more broadly, led by China and India is also driving more open attitudes towards cultured and vegan meat products. In terms of ethical shopping, a 2019 report by market intelligence agency Mintel revealed that consumers are more aware about sustainability, health and wellness when they spend.
Commenting on the growth opportunity for the social impact startup, Garg said: “[It] reflects demand in the market for more sustainable options…There’s a broader trend of consumers advocating against animal agriculture which is driving significant shifts in their purchasing behaviours…Our platform gives a voice to a consumer demographic seeking to practice conscious consumerism.”
With the latest seed funding secured, abillionveg hopes to continue promoting sustainable, ethical lifestyle and dietary choices and drive socially responsible consumerism on a global scale.
Lead image courtesy of abillionveg.