Grounded founders Gabriel Bean and Bryn Ferris web

Grounded founders (l-r) Bryn Ferris and Gabriel Bean

Plant-based protein drinks challenger brand Grounded has closed an oversubscribed seed funding round to fuel its next stage of growth, including a nationwide expansion.

Launched in 2020, the brand quickly picked up listings in premium retailers such as Selfridges and Planet Organic, as well as in the Soho House estate and gym groups across London, including Virgin Active and Gym Box.

Grounded has since expanded distribution with online listings at Ocado and Holland & Barrett and plans to use money raised in the funding round to “turbo-rocket retail growth” across the country’s grocery and fitness space.

Sales expansion and brand building would be the company’s primary focus over the next year, which will include the launch of NPD, according to the business.

VC firm Rianta Capital led the £550k round, alongside existing investors Lever VC, Veg Capital and Artesian VC, as well as new angel investors.

The business joins Rianta Capital’s existing portfolio of consumer brands, which includes alcohol free beer maker Lucky Saint, seltzer producer Something & Nothing, canned cocktail supplier Moth Drinks and Heights Vitamins.

Grounded co-founder Bryn Ferris said: “This year has certainly been a tougher climate to raise investment in than previous years, so we’re even more delighted to have surpassed our funding target for our seed round.

“Our focus is now on building a winning sales team and with that growing our distribution.”

Co-founder Gabriel Bean added: “We’re raring to launch the next phase of our mission in making the cleanest protein shakes on the planet.”

The business also plans to target international growth in the coming months.

“We saw the vision with Grounded,” said Ben Betancourt, head of ventures at Rianta Capital.

“The space they’re targeting is in need of change and they are the perfect brand for this. We backed the founders on the strength of their products, the brand and clear mission. This is an exciting time to get involved.”

Grounded makes its dairy-free protein shakes using coconut milk and 100% natural ingredients.

To date, the London-based business has secured more than £1m in funding.