VFC launched its first product for children last year

Meat alternative start-up VFC, launched by Veganuary founder Matthew Glover, has secured a further £6m investment to boost expansion in the UK and overseas.

Plant-based investment firm Veg Capital – which is also run by Glover – led the latest seed round and remains the brand’s sole investor to date after putting in £7.5m in 2022 and £2.5m in 2021.

VFC said it was looking to expand its investor base as the business prepared the next, bigger funding round.

The latest fundraising will be put towards growing further across multiple channels in the UK and internationally, as well as investing in innovation in adjacent categories, including chilled later this year.

The brand plans to launch across the Nordics, Belgium and Spain, with further expansion planned into France, Germany and Australia.

Its NPD pipeline also stretches into new eating occasions and formats.

Glover launched Vegan Fried Chick*n with co-founder Adam Lyons in 2020 as a meat-free rival to KFC. The brand landed in Tesco in 2021 and has since won distribution with Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons, Ocado and Waitrose.

Last year, VFC launched its first product targeting children’s dining, Chick*n Stompers.

The brand is also available in Marston’s pubs across the UK following a national foodservice roll-out.

“We’ve had an awesome journey so far, with the past six to 12 months really shaping the future success of the business,” CEO Dave Sparrow said.

“Veg Capital has been a fantastic partner for the VFC team, and we are hungrier than ever to realise the full potential of the brand and remove animals from the food chain.”

He added the brand planned to continue to unlock more shelf space across the global market, building on the existing frozen range, stretching into different meal occasions and adjacent categories with the “incredible NPD pipeline” the team had built.

“The business is open to further investment, and we would welcome the opportunity to speak with investors who are as excited about the future of VFC as the team who are driving it.”

Rabinder Harrison, commercial director at Veg Capital, said: “VFC is one of our most exciting investments and we are delighted to be on the journey with them.

“This is a mission-aligned business led by a talented management team who are on track for strong growth in sales therefore removing a significant number of animals from the food system as well as bringing to market delicious plant-based food that is sustainable and ethical.”