THIS™ raises £3.5 million on Seedrs to accelerate growth and increase distribution
- International footballer Chris Smalling invests in UK plant-based meat business, alongside venture capital firms including Backed and Five Seasons Ventures.
- THIS™ plans to build a Willy Wonka-esque plant-based innovation centre, launch new products and launch in two more of the ‘big four’ supermarkets
11th August, 2020 - THIS™, who make hyper-realistic plant-based food for meat lovers, has raised £3.5m, following the launch of a Seedrs campaign. Since going live yesterday, 10th August, the UK plant-based meat company has surpassed its £2 million target, which was secured before the campaign was fully launched to the public.
Venture capital firms involved in this investment round include Backed, Five Seasons Ventures, Idinvest Partners, Seedcamp and Manta Ray Ventures, who also backed the business earlier this year when they raised their ‘Seed Plus’ round in January.
On a mission to shatter meat-eaters’ preconceptions of plant-based food, one rasher or nugget at a time, vegan investment fund Veg Capital has also invested in the latest Seedrs campaign, alongside professional footballer Chris Smalling. The THIS™ Seedrs campaign is also the fastest FMCG business to hit target ever and fastest ever campaign to hit £1.5m+.
Set up by meat lovers, Andy Shovel and Pete Sharman, who successfully exited beef burger chain Chosen Bun. They channelled their in-depth knowledge of meat to create THIS™, arguably the most realistic chicken and bacon meat-alternatives in the world. Following two years of research and development, partnering with world-leading texture scientists and flavourists, THIS™ mimics meat in taste, texture, appearance and smell, but without the ethical or environmental impact, instead using peas and soya beans as the base.
Andy Shovel, Co-Founder of THIS™ commented:
“Pete and I can scarcely believe how quickly the Seedrs campaign has been building momentum. I haven’t clicked ‘refresh’ this often since my online dating days. We’re truly honoured that so many people have deemed THIS to be worthy of their investment; we’ll keep over-working and ageing abnormally fast, in the hope that we make them a massive return.”
Andre de Haes, Founder of Backed VC stated:
“THIS is capitalising on the most important trend in nutrition: strong demand for tasty plant-based meat alternatives. THIS is for all those who are increasingly conscious about the detrimental health, climate change and animal welfare impacts of mass meat production. This macro trend alone doesn't explain THIS's success; it is unprecedented to see a startup food product achieve widespread supermarket distribution right after launching. The team at THIS blend executional hyper-efficiency with both ground-breaking R&D and innovative marketing. THIS's achievement as the fastest campaign in Seedrs history for a round above £1.5m is well deserved.”
Chris Smalling, Professional footballer & Co-Founder of ForGood added:
“I’ve been really impressed with what Andy & Pete have achieved in such a short time. They’ve created a killer brand with amazing products. Thrilled to be part of their journey”
This investment will be used to:
- Expand their innovation function - the team plan to invest £1m in a London-based innovation centre, housing sensory, textural and other processing equipment.
-Cultivate a team of world-leading food-scientists, engineers and flavourists to staff the centre.
-Launching 10 products per year for 3 years across a number of categories
- Boost manufacturing capability
- Build a category leading team of plant-based pioneers
- Create even bigger and naughtier marketing stunts
The business achieved c.700% growth in the last year (launched in June 2019) and has sold 5 million portions of their game-changing plant-based meat, saving 1,734,879kg of CO2 (that’s what you’d burn on 22.3 return trips to the moon).
THIS is currently available in over 2000 stores and restaurants (including Tesco, Waitrose, Ocado, and Honest Burger). THIS™ is also listed with national wholesaler Brakes. The business is also launching in two more major ‘big four’ supermarkets later this year. THIS™ will also be featuring on the menu of several additional well-known restaurant chains.
THIS™ is raising investment on Seedrs here:
Capital at risk. Approved by Seedrs.