Swedish startup VEAT, which makes vending machines that dispense plant-based grab-and-go food, announced today that it has raised a €0.5 million (~$.7 million USD) pre-Seed round of funding. Investors in the round include Pale Blue Dot, Robert Ahldin, Erik Segerborg, Purple Orange Ventures, and Shio Equity.
According to the press announcement emailed to The Spoon, VEAT vending machines will offer a selection of salads, wraps, ready-to-heat meals as well as drinks and snacks. Prices for meals range from 29 Swedish Krona ($3.37 USD) to 85 Swedish Krona ($9.89 USD).
The first VEAT machine was deployed in Stockholm, Sweden earlier this month, and future machines will be placed in large department stores, co-working spaces and office buildings. The company plans to launch 10 machines before the end of the year in Stockholm.
VEAT sits nicely in the middle of a couple of trends we are following here at The Spoon. The first is the continued growth in sales of plant-based foods, which received an extra boost this year as the pandemic highlighted ethical and logistical problems with animal-based meat production.
The other trend is the evolution of vending machines from purveyors of stale snacks to mini restaurants in a box. VEAT is similar to Fresh Bowl and Farmer’s Fridge here in the U.S. All of those companies make it easier for people to access fresh foods anytime of day, and do so without interacting with other humans, something that has become more important as COVID continues to loom large across the globe and contactless retail becomes the norm.
For more information on how the vending machine space is changing, check out The Great Vending Reinvention: The Spoon’s Smart Vending Machine Market Report, available to Spoon Plus members.
And though it’s not the company’s main mission, VEAT is also helping to combat food waste by donating any unsold food to local charities.