Home Estate Planning Chris Smalling and ITV-backed vegan food brand smashes fundraising target

Chris Smalling and ITV-backed vegan food brand smashes fundraising target

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A vegan food brand backed by the likes of former Manchester United footballer Chris Smalling and ITV has smashed through its crowdfunding target.

THIS, which is based in London, has secured more than £1m so far through its Seedrs campaign, with just under a month left to run.

The vegan-focused food company had originally targeted to raise £750,000 and has now secured the backing of over 1,300 investors on the platform.

THIS was founded towards the end of 2018 by Andy Shovel and Pete Sharman and has deals with the likes of Greggs, Caffè Nero and Prezzo.

Former Ella’s Kitchen boss Mark Cuddigan recently joined as chief executive while the business now makes around 20 products and is expecting to report sales of just under £20m for 2023.

In 2022, THIS posted a turnover of £13m and a pre-tax loss of £9.8m.

Former Manchester United footballer Chris Smalling invested in THIS in 2020 as part of a number of backers who put £3.5m into the business.

Other backers include the likes of ITV, BGF, CTP Capital and ECG Venture Capital.

Chris Smalling’s investment came before it also backed plant-based meat company Heura.

In 2021, City A.M, reported that Smalling, who switched to a vegan diet eight years ago, invested a six-figure sum in the Spanish brand.

On its Seedrs listing, the company said: “THIS is on a mission to shatter meat-eaters’ preconceptions of plant-based food, one rasher or nugget at a time. THIS products are now available in over 24,000 grocery stores across the UK.

“Almost all of the brand’s restaurant partners co-brand, which means they find it beneficial to call out THIS on their menus.

“THIS is also listed with major wholesalers too, including Bidfood, Brakes, Wholegood, Blakemore, and VegExpress which supply to hotels, pubs, cafes, caterers, restaurants and independent shops, and rapid delivery retailers nationwide.

“As well as aiming to massively increase distribution, THIS is also investing heavily into building a formidable innovation engine within the company as well as to drive towards profitability, so that they can deliver loads more plant-based innovation to the category such as a minimally processed wholefood-based range.”

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