THIS Receives £20M Series C Investment to Launch New Plant-Based Meat Offerings

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UK plant-based meat startup THIS has raised £20M ($25.4M) in a Series C funding round to expand its product range and drive profitability on its core offerings.

THIS, the London-based producer of meat analogues, has closed a £20M Series C round led by European impact investor Planet First Partners.

The financing involved a combination of primary and secondary equity financing, and brings total investment into the startup to £35M ($44.5M). Its previous investors include BGF, Backed VC, FiveSeasons Ventures, Idinvest Partners, Manta RayVentures, Seedcamp, ITV and footballer Chris Smalling (among others).

The development comes just as THIS’s ready-to-eat Chicken and Bacon Wrap (exclusive to WH Smith) was recalled in connection with the E. coli outbreak in the UK, which has affected more than 200 Brits. The Food Standards Agency said the recall was a “precautionary step” and that E. coli “has not been detected in the product”.

THIS drives Planet First Partners’ sustainability push

plant based meat uk
Courtesy: THIS

THIS will use its latest investment to accelerate growth in its home market and roll out new product lines that cater to “evolving consumer health preferences”. In the UK, health is the main driver of plant-based meat consumption, with 39% of Brits saying so in a survey last year. This focus was highlighted in its TV campaign with food critic Grace Dent in October.

The company will also continue to boost profitability on its core products, which include chicken, beef, pork and lamb analogues. Its growth strategy will be led by new CEO Mark Cuddigan (formerly of Ella’s Kitchen), who took over from founders Andy Shovel and Pete Sharman in February (both remain involved in the business).

“We are excited to welcome Planet First Partners into the THIS family,” said Cuddigan. “Our partnership will be key as we continue to lead a revolution through our plant-based food to protect animals and the environment, growing brand love to become market leaders in the UK.”

It marks the first investment through Planet First Partners’ Farm 2 Fork vertical, which aims to support planet-friendly agriculture and food systems, and complements previous investments in green energy and sustainable cities. It’s spearheaded by executive chairman Frédéric de Mévius, who also founded Verlinvest, an investment vehicle that built brands like Oatly and Vita Coco.

The find is classified under Article 9 of the EU’s Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation, which stipulates sustainability is the primary objective for portfolio companies. Its capital injection into THIS will see it take two seats on the board, and contribute to the increased adoption of plant-based diets, helping prevent the conversion of biodiversity-rich landscapes and release land for ecosystem restoration.

“We believe the company is uniquely placed to capitalise on growing consumer preferences for sustainable and healthy food alternatives, whilst supporting the environment,” said de Mévius. “I am personally excited to put my experience as a consumer investor behind a sustainable brand that is totally aligned with our fund’s sustainability objectives and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

THIS is working on tofu-like superfood

this isn't chicken thighs
Courtesy: THIS

The Series C round follows a year of rapid expansion for THIS, which claims to be the fastest-growing plant-based meat brand in the UK. Its sales were up by 46.6% last year, and volumes rose by 66.6%, according to NielsenIQ data for the Grocer’s Top Products survey, reaching annualised revenue of £24M ($30.5M).

The company says it is the third-largest meat analogue brand in the UK, and has witnessed strong repeat sales in the Big Six supermarkets (Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons, Aldi and Lidl). While it became famous for its vegan chicken pieces, it has continued to introduce new lines in the last few years. This year alone, it has launched vegan chicken thighs, chicken breast, chicken shawarma, frozen beef mince, as well as skin-on chicken wings in collaboration with BrewDog.

THIS has also streamlined its operations, consolidating its production from 17 sites to just three. This involved combining its lab and office spaces into one London site, with production facilities in Northern Ireland and Rochester, England. It is additionally making operational enhancements to improve its gross margins each quarter.

“In terms of our profitability, the team has transformed the business in the last 12 months,” Cuddigan told Sifted last month. “We have transformed our margin, but we need to go much further to become a sustainable business.” The business is aiming to have its first profitable quarter this year.

The UK saw retail sales in the larger meat-free category dip by £38.4M ($48.8M) last year. But the country’s largest grocer, Tesco, reported a 20% hike in sales of plant-based steaks and chicken breasts since the start of 2024, with purchases of meat-free burgers increasing by 10% compared to 2023. Even traditional plant proteins like tofu and tempeh grew by 20%.

Speaking of, Cuddigan has hinted at the new products in the pipeline for THIS, telling Sifted that THIS is developing a plant-based ‘superfood’ for consumers to use as an ingredient in a number of ways – akin to tofu, but with more nutritional value than anything currently available on the market.

“As consumer awareness of environmental and ethical concerns surrounding meat consumption grows, we’re seeing continued interest in plant-based products, particularly with a lean towards health-focused choices and an ingredients list people recognise,” he said.


  • Anay Mridul

    Anay is Green Queen's resident news reporter. Originally from India, he worked as a vegan food writer and editor in London, and is now travelling and reporting from across Asia. He's passionate about coffee, plant-based milk, cooking, eating, veganism, food tech, writing about all that, profiling people, and the Oxford comma.

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