The founders of Chosen Bun, a successful UK burger chain since sold, have launched a new brand a plant-based meat substitute called “THIS.” Founders Andy Shovel and Pete Sharman, spent a year and a half developing their product which has generated a good degree of success since it has been made available at retail locations. According to the company, after launching 12 months ago THIS has grown “obscenely quickly” with their meat substitute now in more than 2000 stores and restaurants. Distribution in two additional large supermarket chains is said to be in the queue for later this year.
This is the “first time ever that people cannot tell the difference between plant-based chicken and real chicken. It’s a breakthrough in terms of food-tech and plant-based meat-alternative realism.”
After raising £5.6 million in venture capital, THIS is now looking to open up share ownership to a larger audience with a forthcoming offering placed on Seedrs. The last funding round of £4.7 million came at the beginning of 2020 reportedly led by UK VC Backed, with participation from Five Seasons Ventures, Idinvest Partners, Seedcamp, and Manta Ray Ventures. As of December 31st, 2019, THIS reports an annualized revenue of around £3 million. The company claims to be one of the fastest-growing food brands in the UK generating a compound monthly growth rate of around 35%. While THIS founders have not said why they have decided to go the crowdfunding path as opposed to venture capital, there have been reports of VCs hitting pause during the COVID-19 reality while online investment platforms doing fairly well in providing access to growth capital.
Meat substitute products have been a hot sector of Foodtech – especially following the initial public offering of Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND) that went public at $25 a share. Today, it trades at over $140 a share. Beyond Meat also received funding via a crowdfunded offering.
Currently, THIS is receiving indications of interest for the upcoming securities offering hosted on Seedrs. Details have not yet been announced but interested investors, and just curious followers, may register their information now. THIS reports that it has a “healthy” cash balance of £3 million in the bank but are looking to accelerate their rate of growth and boost manufacturing to keep up with product demand. An innovation centre in London is being planned to house “state of the art” equipment as they build the company.
Contingent upon deal terms, the Seedrs offering for THIS could be interesting.
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