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SaladStop, the Singapore-headquartered salad chain with locations across Asia, has just closed its Series B with $8.8 million. The restaurant, which serves up Beyond Meat on its plant-forward menu, says the funding will fuel its expansion across the region.
SaladStop has announced the closing of its oversubscribed Series B round with $8.8 million, led by Singapore government-backed Temasek. Other participating investors included Vulcan Capital, K3 Ventures, East Ventures and DSG Consumer Partners, which has previously invested in Singapore alt-protein players like Growthwell and Float Foods.
SaladStop embraces digital
SaladStop, which was founded in 2009 and now operates nearly 70 outlets across Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Japan, Korea, and Spain, says the funding will be used to fuel its goal of becoming a “leading personalised nutrition company in Asia”.
It will be building new cloud kitchens, accelerating “tech-enabled growth” and fostering new partnerships with food techs. All of this is part of the chain’s pandemic-driven digital push, which has seen more than 50% of its sales shift to online and direct-to-consumer channels.
“This fundraising round is a major milestone for us. The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the resilience of our business across all markets and accelerated our push online,” explained co-founder and CEO Adrien Desbaillets. “We are excited to be partnering with such strategic and value-aligned investors to dramatically scale the business to new heights.”
Expanding across Asia the plant-based way
The Series B funds will also enable SaladStop to double down on its Asia footprint. By 2025, the chain plans to enter four new markets in the region, with a number of cloud kitchen locations to be built out into second-tier cities.
“To achieve our ambitious growth strategy, we plan to deepen our roots in our existing markets, while also expanding our footprint in selected new countries,” shared chief growth officer Frantz Braha. “[We will] continue to leverage our technological capabilities and proprietary cloud kitchen operating model to accelerate our growth in emerging markets.”
In addition to extending its international reach, the company says that it will continue to revamp its menus towards sustainable plant-based offerings. Earlier this year, the chain added a new plant-based online grocery service called Good Food People, which delivers to residents in Singapore.
It also became the first restaurant chain in Asia to carbon label its entire menu in March, with the most climate-friendly menu items being its vegan bowls, wraps and salads. These include the “Beyond Me” bowl, which contains the plant-based beef patty supplied by US food tech giant Beyond Meat, or the “Earth Bowl” that features a housemade plant protein patty, baked mushrooms, broccoli and cherry tomatoes.
The carbon labelling trend has been taking off in the F&B world as more consumers become aware of the footprint of food. Other brands that have taken on this approach include US fast-casual pioneer Just Salad, as well as CPGs like Unilever and Upfield, the maker of vegan butters and spreads.
“We want to drive change in the food industry, especially at this challenging time, given not only the effects of the pandemic on people’s health and wellbeing, but also with the current disruption on supply chains and the extraordinary threat posed by climate change,” said chief brand officer Katherine Desbaillets Braha.
“Our family has been on a mission to empower our customers to understand and measure the full impact of their food choices, not only on their health, but on the health of the planet,” she added.
All images courtesy of SaladStop.