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KBW Ventures, founded by HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed, has invested in French startup Furahaa Group, making it the first investment made in France by the venture capital firm. The undisclosed investment was made as part of a roundtable with private investors.
Launched in 2015 by Founding President Arthur Devillers, the Paris-based Group has three operational subsidiaries: PlantB2B, ViVeg and its eponymous restaurant, Furahaa. Plant B2B is a supply chain and distribution entity that also stores the group’s restaurants, while ViVeg is one of the company’s B2C branches with a vegan food subscription box business model, and Furahaa is the company’s popular vegan fast food chain.
ViVeg Subscription Box Products
Commenting on the investment, Devillers said the group was looking for like-minded investors to ensure stock stability in their company. “We wanted to better respond to shortages of foodstuffs of plant origin, because in France, alternative proteins – meat and dairy products – are not yet widely available at competitive prices.” Finding quality ingredients at parity of price was a challenge, says Devillers, so the Group decided to develop its own supply chain and its own distribution flows.
As for what drove the investment, Prince Khaled praises the startup’s vision for an inclusive and diverse workplace, as well as its goal of providing consumers and suppliers with plant-based options. “The distribution industry is strong and during the pandemic I saw a quick and organized pivot – something any investor would find very attractive in a holding company. “
HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, Founder and CEO, KBW Ventures
With KBW Ventures as the last investor, the Group is on track to continue its growth. The Furahaa Group joins KBW Ventures’ portfolio companies from the plant-based industry, such as plant-based meat maker Rebellyous Foods, US fast-food restaurant Veggie Grill and vegan jerky supplier Moku Foods. In addition to being an advocate and investor in sustainable food, Prince Khaled also serves on the advisory board of XPRIZE’s Global Feed The Next Billion Challenge, a four-year competition to research alternative proteins.
With its new funding, Devillers hopes to add new items to its fast food segment, with the aim of embracing the latest developments in food science in the vegan ecosystem. The Group plans to expand in France with new Furahaa points of sale, accompanied by a franchise model, “Furahaa wants to be the leading vegetable chain in France. It’s simple: we want to be everywhere where traditional fast food is found, but by offering plant-based, delicious and ethical alternatives.
Related: Khaled Bin Alwaleed Takes $ 60 Million Funding for Food Tech Startup BlueNalu