Heura has a presence in the UK with Waitrose and Ocado

European plant-based brand Heura has closed its long-running series B funding round, raising €40m (£34.2m) in total as it seeks to turn rapid growth into profitability.

The Barcelona-headquartered food tech company said the round marked a milestone in its goal to create “a net positive food system” and help consumers transition away from meat.

It added the funding injection would drive the company to profitability and fortify its position as an industry frontrunner, confirming Heura’s proprietary technology as a “unique competitive advantage and a prospective to become the European champion”.

Heura has been running the series B round throughout 2022 and 2023, with more than €7m raised from thousands of crowd investors as part of the raise.

Spreads and plant-based group Upfield – the former Unilever spreads business acquired by KKR in 2017 – also participated in the round, alongside venture capital firms Unovis Asset Management, the European Circular Bioeconomy Fund and Newtree Impact.

Heura said the “strategic coalition” built one of the biggest plant-based alliances and formed a board that would focus on “top-notch tech to set new industry standards” while allowing the business to boost its impact in the food industry, accelerate international expansion and explore new collaboration models beyond its own branded meat alternatives.

“This achievement uplifts Heura’s vision of being at the forefront of Europe’s protein transition” added co-founder and CEO Marc Coloma.

“To change the food system we need to move the pressure from consumers to the food industry, placing health and sustainability as non-negotiable.

“This new chapter will drive us to profitability while allowing us to develop breakthrough technology to tackle the key challenges within the industry in a scalable way.”

Upfield CEO David Haines said: “We’re excited to be leading Heura’s latest investment round and partnering with a pioneering food-tech focused on making waves with clean label technologies that deliver both on nutrition and taste.

“Through our investment and strategic partnership, we’ll jointly advance research & development, to fast-track innovation in the plant-based cheese category. We look forward to supporting Heura’s team in accelerating the plant-based transition, aligned on a joint mission to transform the global food system to one that offers consumers more affordable and delicious plant-based options, shaping the future of food.”

Founded in 2017 by Coloma and Bernat Añaños, Heura was valued at €70m in 2021 following a €4m crowdfunding campaign and a €16m series A round.

Heura reported an 80% jump in revenues to €31.4m in 2022 thanks to increased distribution outside its native Spain, including a sixfold increase in the UK. It now has more than 22,000 points of sale in 20 countries. 

In April last year, the company filed its first patent that it claimed showcased “unprecedented” nutritional properties free of additives. The innovation could be applied across multiple plant-based food categories, such as deli meats, but also whole cuts (meats and fish) and dairy products.