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VeggieVictory, Nigeria’s first plant-based startup, has announced the completion of a pre-seed funding round from a number of international investors. Describing the investment round as a show of the potential for the African continent to be the “next frontier” for the global plant-based movement, the firm says it will use the capital to continue its expansion and launch new plant-based meat offerings on the market.
Nigeria’s first 100% plant-based food tech, VeggieVictory, has closed a pre-seed round from a number of venture capital firms based in the U.S. and Europe, the company announced on Wednesday (February 10). The funding round saw participation from Sustainable Food Ventures (SFV), the first rolling fund on AngelList dedicated to alternative proteins, plant-based VC firm Capital V, Swedish vegan investor Kale United and Thrive Worldwide, a company that invests in food techs, cryptocurrency and decentralised finance solutions, clean energy and health therapies.
VeggieVictory’s latest injection capital comes shortly after it attracted angel funding from a number of veterans in the vegan industry, including Anant Joshi, the founder of Plant CEO, and Ryan Bethencourt, the founder and CEO of California vegan pet food brand Wild Earth and also the founder of SFV who participated in this pre-seed round. The amount of pre-seed funding raised was undisclosed.
The Lagos-based startup plans to use the proceeds to continue expanding its plant-based portfolio, with products such as vegan beef jerky to be first on the cards to join its existing range, which includes soy-based hot dogs, tofu scrambles, meatless burger patties and shawarmas, as well as tailored Nigerian cuisine dishes, such as efo riro stews with vegan meat.
With these investments we are able to develop more products aside from our main brand Vchunks. Our Vegan beef jerky ‘Kilishi’ is our latest innovation.Oyebola Adeyanju, Co-Founder, VeggieVictory
Their flagship product is a plant-based meat chunks alternative dubbed Vchunks, a protein-rich analogue developed, produced and packaged locally in Nigeria, and currently sold in over 12 states in the country.
“With these investments we are able to develop more products aside from our main brand Vchunks,” said VeggieVictory co-founder, Oyebola Adeyanju, who also leads product development for the startup. “Our Vegan beef jerky ‘Kilishi’ is our latest innovation. A ready-to-eat vegan snack.”
Hakeem Jimo, co-founder and CEO of the startup, says that the international investment represents the strong potential that industry experts see in the African continent with regard to plant-based innovation.
“We are excited to have won over these well-known investors not only for VeggieVictory but the African continent as the next frontier for the plant-based movement,” said Jimo.
Commenting on the decision to back the food tech again, Bethencourt said: “This is our second investment in VeggieVictory and Sustainable Food Ventures is proud to be the lead investor. The plant-based revolution is even more crucial in emerging markets and Nigeria being one of the biggest ones.”
We are excited to have won over these well-known investors not only for VeggieVictory but the African continent as the next frontier for the plant-based movement.Hakeem Jimo, Co-Founder & CEO, VeggieVictory
Other investors who joined the pre-seed round eyed the opportunity to support VeggieVictory after the startup made it to second place at Vevolution’s virtual live pitch competition Pitch&Plant in December 2020.
While Michiel van Deursen, founder of Spain-headquartered Capital V said that VeggieVictory is among the leading startups who will pave the way for “tremendous growth and opportunities” in the plant-based space on the African continent, Kale United founder Måns Ullerstam belives that the food tech’s base in the largest economy on the continent makes it ripe to drive disruption.
The entire team at VeggieVictory is proud of its growing gender-balanced and black-owned shareholder base with a common vision for environmental sustainability, social fairness and free from animal cruelty.Oyebola Adeyanju, Co-Founder, VeggieVictory
“Kale United has said from day one its dream investment is a plant-based company in Africa who could help Africa make the same leap it did with mobile phones,” said Ullerstam. “We believe VeggieVictory is the right company to make this happen in Nigeria – the largest market in Africa.”
Armed with its latest round of financing, VeggieVictory says that it plans to double down its presence in its domestic market in Nigeria as well as expand globally to a number of other African countries, the U.S. and Europe. It believes that as a diverse, inclusive business, it’ll stand out in an increasingly competitive market.
“The entire team at VeggieVictory is proud of its growing gender-balanced and black-owned shareholder base with a common vision for environmental sustainability, social fairness and free from animal cruelty,” said Adeyanju.
All images courtesy of VeggieVictory.