What is THIS™? How did the company start and what did you raise on Seedrs?
THIS™ is the fastest-growing meat alternative brand in the UK (up 333% in FY 2021) with a mission to shatter meat-eaters’ preconceptions of plant-based food. Their 11 products (including their famous plant-based THIS™ Isn’t Bacon and THIS™ Isn’t Chicken) are currently sold at over 10,000 distribution points and multiple UK restaurant chains. Co-founders, Andy and Pete, started THIS™ with a joint goal of making the most realistic meat alternatives in the world, in a more sustainable way.
Before deciding to crowdfund, THIS™ had successfully raised £10 million from VC funds. But, with a very large and continuously growing community (currently over 100,000 followers on Instagram alone), who were frequently asking if they could own a slice of THIS™, they decided to bring their fans in on the action. They successfully raised their first round with Seedrs in August 2020, doubling their £2million target to reach a total of £4,476,520 from 1,844 investors.
In June 2022, THIS™ came back to Seedrs for their second round of crowdfunding and smashed their £4 million target, raising over £8,039,331 through 2,890 investors. This brought their total number of investors across the two campaigns up to 4,734. During their second campaign, THIS™ raised more than double the investment from Seedrs investors compared to their first campaign, with a 116% increase in Seedrs’ investment.
What was your experience of the first and second crowdfunding campaigns with Seedrs?
Following the success of our first round of funding, we were able to accelerate growth by expanding our innovation function and pipeline. In addition, we used additional funds to create more noise with bigger marketing campaigns.
Our total number of investors increased by 57% during our second campaign. With the money raised during this round, we’ve been able to increase marketing spend, focusing on Above the Line projects. This has been imperative for increasing brand awareness. We want to build a state-of-the-art innovation centre to pilot production, and we’re investing in manufacturing equipment to support new launches, all with the aim of supporting revenue growth.
Why did you choose to do a second round through Seedrs?
We decided to complete a second round of crowdfunding because we were really pleased with the success of our initial Seedrs campaign in 2020. We were the fastest campaign on the Seedrs platform to hit £1.5 million, as well as being the fastest Food & Beverage (F&B) business to hit its target on the platform. This proved to us that we were doing something right, and had a business that our community wanted to be part of.
Completing a second round through Seedrs was an easy decision to make. Seedrs have the track record for some of the most successful raises in the F&B sector, and have facilitated very successful follow-on raises for companies such as Chapel Down. On top of all that, we knew we’d gained great momentum from the previous campaign due to the 1,844 investors who took part in the raise, which gave us confidence that we were targeting investors with an interest in our business.
Seedrs were already an investor and had completed due diligence on our business previously, so the time taken to set-up the campaign was much quicker the second time around. Also, by using the learning from the first round, we were able to simplify and speed up other processes within the second campaign, requiring far fewer of our own colleagues’ assistance. This meant our colleagues could instead focus their time on other projects to meet different business aims.
“Working closely with Seedrs, twice we’ve managed to reach a really engaged audience who believe in the brand and our mission. Our crowdfunding success has been an essential part of our growth.” – Andy Shovel, Co-Founder of THIS™
What were your goals you wanted to achieve from this crowdfunding round and why did you feel Seedrs were the right partner for you?
There were a few new goals we wanted to achieve from our second crowdfunding campaign. Firstly, we wanted to grow our base of supporters and brand ambassadors, which we saw happen by picking up over 2,300 new investors this round. We wanted to grow the company profile via Seedrs marketing campaigns, and allow our community the chance to invest/reinvest so they had the opportunity to support us since the previous round. From a financial perspective, we were looking to top up on the institutional capital we’d raised so we could continue our growth strategy by diversifying our product and reaching a wider audience.
“Seedrs really understand our business and what we’re trying to achieve. They provided guidance and support at every stage.” – Andy Shovel, Co-Founder of THIS™
What does life after your two campaigns look like?
Two successful rounds of crowdfunding has helped us grow at pace. By investing more into innovation, we’re continually looking at how to improve our current range and developing new, delicious products. In addition, we’ve been able to increase our brand awareness through varied and exciting marketing campaigns.
Interested in learning more from startups who have raised with us? Check out these articles:
- Perkier: Meeting Industry Experts through Crowdfunding
- Harvest London: Crowdfunding a Sustainable Future for Food
- Wild and Stone
Read more case studies here.