abillionveg secures US$2mil in seed funding
By Digital News Asia August 22, 2019
- Round led by 500 Startups, brings the company’s total funding to US$2.6 million
- Goal is to help a billion people join the plant-based movement by 2030
ABILLIONVEG, a social impact platform powering the plant-based movement, has today announced that it has secured US$2 million (RM8.36 million) in seed funding led by California based venture fund 500 Startups, bringing the company’s total funding to US$2.6 million (RM10.86 million).
The company’s investors include New York-based 1/0 Capital, Zurich-based Blue Horizon Group, Singapore-based Calibre Ventures, and family offices across Asia and the US.
Hong Kong-based Founder of Room to Read and author, John Wood, have also come on board as an investor and adviser to abillionveg. The funding represents one of the largest seed rounds for a social impact startup in Southeast Asia and for a plant-based startup globally.
Founded in Singapore, abillionveg is a community-driven review platform that helps people across the world find and share insights about plant-based menu items, packaged foods and cruelty-free consumer products.
abillionveg’s members earn credits when they post reviews, which convert into donations for animal and marine life welfare organisations. The company also sends consumer reviews to businesses, helping them improve and introduce more sustainable options.
abillionveg founder and chief executive officer Vikas Garg (pic, right), said the purpose-driven business has a goal of helping a billion people join the plant-based movement by 2030 and of donating US$1 billion (RM4.18 billion) to support animal welfare and education causes. The company plans to donate US$1 million in 2020.
“Our focus is on building a community to help us achieve the US$1 million milestone by the end of 2020. Our funding will be used to accelerate our efforts in recruitment, technology, and growing our community to achieve this,” Garg said.
Since its launch in May 2018, 50,000 reviews have been posted across 30,000 vegan dishes and more than 8,000 consumer products in 90 countries with 40% to 50% growth monthly in Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, making the abillionveg app the fastest growing resource of its kind globally.
Entrepreneur and author, Wood, said of his investment and his advisory role to abillionveg: “Launching Room to Read following my career at Microsoft has powered my passion to build businesses that have a positive impact on the world. abillionveg is one of these businesses and I’m excited to support Vikas in achieving his vision.”
Garg went on to discuss the growth opportunity for abillionveg: “Our growth reflects demand in the market for more sustainable options. Currently, approximately 5% of the world’s population or 400 million people identify as vegetarian. We want to see that number at 10% to 15% higher. There’s a broader trend of consumers advocating against animal agriculture which is driving significant shifts in their purchasing behaviour when it comes to the food and products they consume, and this is happening globally.
“These trends represent a gap in the market and an opportunity for abillionveg. Our platform gives a voice to a consumer demographic seeking to practice conscious consumerism and that includes what’s on their plate and the products they use every day.
“In this way, our unique combination of technology and ‘friendly’ activism provides investors with a commercially viable sustainability ecosystem and a consumer demographic that is currently unfulfilled and rapidly growing. Investors can invest in a socially responsible way, and in doing so support in driving socially responsible consumerism on a global scale,” concluded Garg.