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THIS, a London-based plant-based meat company, has recently closed its crowdfunding campaign, which was publicly live for just 2.5 days before hitting its £4 million (US$5.24 million) overfunding target. The campaign, which was launched on Seedrs, broke records as the fastest campaign to ever hit a £1.5 million (US$1.97 million) target, an indicator of the strong demand from consumers for plant-based meat alternatives.
THIS closed its Seedrs crowdfunding campaign at an impressive US$5.24 million in less than three days. Venture capital firms that invested in the campaign include London-based tech VC Backed, Parisian agri-food tech investors Five Seasons Ventures, vegan investment fund Veg Capital, Idinvest Partners, Seedcamp and Manta Ray Ventures. Manchester United footballer Chris Smalling also participated in the round.
The campaign broke several records, including being the fastest FMCG business to ever hit a target, attracting the highest number of investors in a week, as well as the fastest campaign on Seedrs to ever hit a £1.5 million (US$1.97 million) target.
“After 3+ weeks of not sleeping because we thought no one would invest – we broke loads of records on Seedrs!” announced co-founders Andy Shovel and Pete Sharman.
“We were publicly live for all of 2 days, before we hit our £4m overfunding limit. We haven’t clicked refresh that often since our online dating days.”
In a statement, the food tech says that it will be using the capital to set up a London-based innovation centre that will act as a home-base for its team of food scientists, engineers and flavourists as well as its different processing equipment. THIS has the ambitious goal of launching a whopping 10 products per year for the next three years across a number of categories.
We were publicly live for all of 2 days, before we hit our £4m overfunding limit. We haven’t clicked refresh that often since our online dating days.Andy Shovel & Pete Sharman, Co-Founders of THIS
Founded in 2019 by Shovel and Sharman, who are self-described “meat lovers” who left their jobs at burger chain Chosen Bun, THIS has since made headlines for its incredibly realistic chicken and bacon plant-based alternatives. Its products, which are made using pea and soy protein, have since launched across over 2,000 locations across the U.K., including major retailers Tesco, Waitrose and e-commerce grocery store Ocado.
“THIS is capitalising on the most important trend in nutrition: strong demand for tasty plant-based meat alternatives, for all those who are increasingly conscious about the detrimental health, climate change and animal welfare impacts of mass meat production,” said Andre de Haes, founder of Backed VC who participated in the crowdfunder.
Investor interest in plant-based meat and dairy has surged amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has seen mainstream consumers opt for safer and more crisis-resilient alternatives in light of the meat supply chain breakdown induced by global slaughterhouse viral outbreaks.
Alternative protein companies in all categories have one after another made funding announcements, from fermented animal-free dairy brand Perfect Day to vegan oat milk maker Oatly and Silicon Valley’s famous food tech giant Impossible Foods’ most recent US$200 million Series G round.
A number of FMCG titans have also decided to ramp up alternative protein development and offerings in light of the meat crisis, further strengthening the foothold that food techs are gaining in the market. According to a recent report by nonprofit FAIRR, nearly half of the world’s biggest food retailers and manufacturers now have dedicated plant-based teams in response to mass consumer demand.
Lead image courtesy of THIS.