Hyper-realistic plant-based meat brand THIS has secured GBP11 million in a Series A investment co-led by BGF, and Lever VC.
This investment is the largest Series A fundraise for a UK plant-based meat brand. The company will use the funding to grow the business, expand its R&D, and help to bring to market an exciting pipeline of new products and distribution points across the UK.
THIS' in-house R&D team is set to grow four-fold this year, developing all recipes in-house at a ‘Willy Wonka’ style R&D centre in London. The team also submitted two patents for its use of high moisture extrusion technology.
THIS has also grown at a record-breaking rate of 530 per cent (April '21 vs ‘20) which is one of the highest ever growth rates for a UK food brand, let alone meat-alternative brand, signifying a major step change for the food industry.
Andy Shovel, Co-founder of THIS, says: “We are absolutely thrilled, as we are now in a position to lease an office with windows. The team were losing their sense of humour over our current neon-lit home. In addition, this investment will unlock the most exciting new product development schedule. We’ve got some wacky plans for new tech and a huge line up of plant-based products, which will make eating plant-based food that bit easier for consumers.”
THIS was founded in June 2019 by Andy Shovel and Pete Sharman, both meat-lovers who wanted to create a plant-based meat brand for meat eaters.
Following two years of extensive research and development, working with a team of food scientists and flavourists, they created hyper-realistic meat alternatives. The THIS Isn’t Chicken and THIS Isn’t Bacon product mimic the taste, texture and flavour of traditional meat products but they are healthier and better for the planet. They’re high in protein, low in saturated fat and are GMO-free, carcinogen free, and nitrate free.
THIS has sold 22 million portions of its products – enough to feed the populations of Greece and Portugal combined. having saved 6.7 million kilograms of CO2.
Prior to this fundraise, THIS had a record-breaking seed round secured GBP8.7 million in funding to accelerate growth and distribution from VC investors, Backed and Five Seasons, who are also participating in this round. CPT Capital is investing alongside Lever VC and BGF.
Daina Spedding, investor at BGF, says: “THIS is a highly innovative business that is rapidly scaling in a very exciting new food category in the UK. Plant-based meat alternatives are increasingly empowering consumers with more choices in their diet and environmental impact – and THIS is at the forefront of this with leading technology, distribution and products. With our long-term investment approach and national network of expertise, BGF will support the highly-ambitious management team at THIS to scale and expand further.”
Nick Cooney, Managing Partner at Lever VC, says: “We’ve never seen a plant-based meat company grow its sales and its store count as quickly as THIS™ has. We think the company is well on its way to being a category leader in the UK and beyond, and we’re delighted to back THIS’s stellar team and support their expansion into new products and new markets.”