NIGERIA – Nigeria’s first plant-based food tech startup, VeggieVictory, has closed a pre-seed funding round to expand its product portfolio and reach.
Its flagship product is a plant-based meat chunks alternative dubbed Vchunks, a protein-rich analogue developed, produced and packaged locally, and is currently sold in over 12 states in the country.
According to reports by Green Queen, the company plans to introduce new products such as vegan beef jerky, which includes soy-based hot dogs, tofu scrambles, meatless burger patties and shawarmas, as well as tailored Nigerian cuisine dishes, such as efo riro stews with vegan meat.
“With these investments we are able to develop more products aside from our main brand Vchunks. Our Vegan beef jerky ‘Kilishi’ is our latest innovation. A ready-to-eat vegan snack,” said VeggieVictory co-founder, Oyebola Adeyanju.
The recent funding round saw participation from Sustainable Food Ventures (SFV), the first rolling fund on AngelList dedicated to alternative proteins; plant-based VC firm Capital V; Swedish vegan investor Kale United; and Thrive Worldwide, a company that invests in food techs, cryptocurrency and decentralised finance solutions, clean energy and health therapies.
The amount of pre-seed funding raised was undisclosed.
“We are excited to have won over these well-known investors not only for VeggieVictory but the African continent as the next frontier for the plant-based movement,” said Hakeem Jimo, co-founder and CEO.
Equipped with its new funding round, VeggieVictory says it aims to double its footprint in its Nigerian domestic market as well as extend to a variety of other African nations, the U.S. and Europe internationally.
“With these investments we are able to develop more products aside from our main brand Vchunks.”VeggieVictory co-founder – Oyebola Adeyanju
VeggieVictory’s latest injection capital comes shortly after it attracted angel funding from a number of veterans in the vegan industry, including Anant Joshi, the founder of Plant CEO, and Ryan Bethencourt, the founder and CEO of California vegan pet food brand Wild Earth and also the founder of SFV who participated in this pre-seed round.
Commenting on the decision to back the food tech again, Bethencourt said, “This is our second investment in VeggieVictory and Sustainable Food Ventures is proud to be the lead investor. The plant-based revolution is even more crucial in emerging markets and Nigeria being one of the biggest ones.”
Other investors who joined the pre-seed round eyed the opportunity to support VeggieVictory after the startup made it to second place at Vevolution’s virtual live pitch competition Pitch&Plant in December 2020.
While Michiel van Deursen, founder of Spain-headquartered Capital V said that VeggieVictory is among the leading startups who will pave the way for “tremendous growth and opportunities” in the plant-based space on the African continent, Kale United founder Måns Ullerstam belives that the food tech’s base in the largest economy on the continent makes it ripe to drive disruption.
“Kale United has said from day one its dream investment is a plant-based company in Africa who could help Africa make the same leap it did with mobile phones,” said Ullerstam. “We believe VeggieVictory is the right company to make this happen in Nigeria – the largest market in Africa.”
Armed with its latest round of financing, VeggieVictory says that it plans to double down its presence in its domestic market in Nigeria as well as expand globally to a number of other African countries, the U.S. and Europe.
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