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The Canada-based online marketplace Vejii is the latest vegan company to announce plans to go public after just one year in the marketplace. It will begin trading on the CSE under the ticker VEJI on November 9th, 2021.
In another sign that interest in all things vegan continues to accelerate, Vejii, the online retailer that launched earlier this year, has announced two major milestones: alongside its CSE launch later this week, the company has also completed the acquisition of the longtime online vegan marketplace Vegan Essentials (Veg Essentials LLC).
“The acquisition of Vegan Essentials and commencement of trading on the CSE are two incredible milestones for our Company,” Kory Zelikson, CEO of Vejii, said in a statement. Vegan Essentials was an e-commerce pioneer; it launched in 1997.
“I am incredibly proud of our team and their commitment to creating what is poised to be a leading North American plant-based and sustainable-living marketplace,” “Our database of consumer buying insights now goes back to 1997 and this will allow us to look at strategic acquisitions, new brands, and growth within new markets. The access to additional capital from the financing will also allow the Company to focus on future growth.”
According to Vejii, the Vegan Essentials acquisition brings the combined subscribers list to more than 130,000. The two companies will now consolidate across logistics, AI, marketing, and buying.
Faster access to growth capital
“Being public provides faster access to growth capital and the opportunity to leverage share capital for new opportunities,” Zelickson told FoodNavigator-USA.
Vejii’s success was buoyed by the pandemic as consumers shifted to online purchasing. It expanded quickly, adding thousands of brands to its store. It also enlisted ambassadors including pro surfer and co-founder of the vegan beauty brand Dear Self, Tia Blanco.
Vejii faces competition from a growing number of online retailers, though. Hawaii’s VEDGEco now delivers across the U.S. But most notably is another Canadian retailer, the PlantX platform, which is now also serving U.S. consumers. Both also compete with Thrive Market, an early online retail pioneer with a robust vegan catalog.
But to differentiate itself, Vejii says it will broaden its categories to include fashion alongside its food and personal care items.
The shifting demand for plant-based food led Beyond Meat to IPO in May 2019. It has since expanded its offerings across the US and the globe with partnerships in major markets across Europe and Asia. Its chief competitor, Impossible Foods, is expected to IPO this year or early 2022 with a valuation between $7 billion and $10 billion, according to recent reports.
Recent data shows US demand for plant-based food is growing at twice the rate of animal products. That demand has pushed sales to more than $7 billion, according to recent findings.