THIS, a UK company developing plant-based meat alternatives, has raised £4.7 million in a seed plus round from Backed, a London-based fund, along with Five Seasons Ventures, Idinvest Partners, Seedcamp and Manta Ray Ventures. The food startup claims its plant-based chicken and bacon are the most realistic on the market, a “breakthrough in terms of food-tech and plant-based meat-alternative realism”. Made of pea and soy, THIS products mimic real meat in taste, texture, appearance, and smell. The company website features blind taste testings that have fooled food critics and bloggers. Indeed, PETA awarded THIS for “Best Vegan Bacon” and “Best Vegan Chicken” last year. According to a statement, business is booming.
Within six months of its launch in 2019, THIS had an annualised revenue of £3 million. The company reports a compound growth rate of 35 percent month over month. Through partnerships with retailers and restaurant groups, its products appear in over 1200 stores and chains around the UK.
Those numbers aren’t the only draw for investors, though; some want to support the sustainability cause. “Investing in the future isn’t just about investing in hard-tech companies; it’s also about investing in the future of our consumption and the sustainability of food sources and their long-term ecological impact,” said Carlos Espinal, Seedcamp’s managing partner.
As for what the new funding will do for the company, THIS co-founder Andy Shovel said: “It allows us to massively boost our manufacturing capacity and crucially – to create a formidable innovation engine within the company, by establishing an internal R&D centre.” The UK food startup has raised £5.6m to date, from 12 angel investors and VCs.