Plant-based burger and sausage maker Meatless Farm is giving customers the opportunity to put their money where they say it is and invest in the fast-growing company, which hopes to follow in the footsteps of ‘Foods’ runaway successes. alternatives ”such as Oatly. .
The £ 5million crowdfunding program is the first time the Yorkshire-based company has offered retail investors the opportunity to invest with a starting stake of just £ 10. It comes at a time when eating meatless meals twice a week is no longer a niche, according to its founder, Morten Toft Bech.
“We are reaching a tipping point,” Toft Bech said. “We could reduce the UK’s total emissions by around 8% if we all ate just one less meat meal per week. “
The company claims it is “not anti-meat or pro-vegan,” but aims to provide affordable and tasty meal alternatives with the goal of building a more sustainable global food system. Its products, made from pea protein, include hash, hot dogs and sausage rolls.
The loss-making company, which increased sales by 150% in 2020, is forecasting revenue of up to £ 30million this year. This figure is lower than previous estimates due to the impact of lockdowns on its restaurant business, which works with leading brands such as Pret, Leon and Itsu.
Investors are eager to take advantage of the booming sales of plant-based foods. Swedish alternative milk maker Oatly, listed in the US last month, is currently valued at $ 17 billion (£ 12 billion) after its share price rose nearly 70%. In the UK alone, the meatless and plant-based dairy categories have doubled in size over the past five years and are now worth just under £ 600million.
Meatless Farm, which is UK based in Leeds, has already drawn cash from larger investors, raising £ 38million over the past three years from private and family offices. He continues to weigh the merits of a stock market listing, but Toft Bech said there was no rush to pursue one.
“We are discussing with the London Stock Exchange what the future looks like,” he said. “There are so many different funding opportunities for companies like ours right now due to our growth. We also spoke to the US stock exchanges. They are very active in Europe and say they have access to more investors and growth.
Toft Bech, who believes fundraising on the Crowdcube platform will be oversubscribed, says alternative meat brands are priced 50 times higher than dairy, given the size of a market world meat of $ 1.2 billion.
“It’s so huge that even with 1% you’re a huge company,” he says. “There’s a lot of money and power in meat, so the conversion will come – it’ll just take a little longer before it’s really mass marketed, maybe similar to what we’re seeing with the electric cars. “
Meatless Farm will use the £ 5million for expansion and product development, and says “taste, texture and price parity with meat” are key to the success of its range. It needs the best crops and factories as well as chefs and nutritionists to develop pizza toppings, chicken and plant-based snacks.
The investments will take the form of a convertible note which will be converted into shares at a discounted price in the next round of equity financing of up to £ 75million, scheduled for the end of this year.