Even though the news cycle is dominated by coronavirus, the world is still turning — and plant-based meat companies are still getting funding.
In fact, today THIS, a UK startup making alt-meat, raised a £4.7 million ($5.5 million) seed round (h/t Tech.eu). The round was led by Backed with participation from Five Season Ventures, Idinvest Partners, Seedcamp and Manta Ray Ventures. This brings THIS’ (ha) total funding to £5.6 million ($6.6 million).
Founded in 2019, THIS makes alternatives to chicken and bacon — including flavored chicken pieces and nuggets — from a mixture of pea and soy protein. Its products are currently available in 1200 retailers and restaurant chains. As of now, THIS only sells in the U.K.
As I’ve written before, chicken is primed to be the next big alt-meat. Startups like NUGGS, Rebellyous, and Daring are all making chicken nuggets and pieces meant to be an easy 1-1 replacement for chicken meat. Larger companies — like Beyond Meat — are also diversifying into chicken. Even Big Meat is getting in on the alt-chicken space. With its new funding, THIS is smart to try and amp up and get more brand recognition and shelf space before it becomes as crowded as plant-based burger space.
The space that has even more potential, I think, is bacon. Very few companies are making plant-based bacon right now, and the ones that I’ve tasted on grocery shelves are generally overly salty and have the texture of cardboard. There’s a vacuum, just waiting for someone like THIS to fill it (before Impossible Foods beats them to it and launches its own product).
THIS will use its new funding to boost manufacturing capacity and establish an internal R&D center. Hopefully that means we’ll be seeing some more plant-based bacon on our grocery shelves in the near future.