Veggie rice brand Fullgreen is targeting a £600k fundraise to bolster its UK and global sales and build on strong growth during the coronavirus period.

The brand has launched a crowdfunding campaign on the Seedrs platform, targeting £600k for 2.7% of its equity at a pre-money valuation of £2.2m.

The plant-based producer plans to use the funds to deepen its penetration in UK and international supermarkets, and support its social media and digital advertising to target online sales via its own website and other e-commerce platforms.

So far the campaign has raised £546k, with existing investors having pledged £430k to underpin the raise.

The fundraising drive comes as newly filed accounts show Fullgreen benefited from the wider growth of supermarket shelf-stable products during the pandemic.

In the year to 31 December 2020, Fullgreen’s sales rose 41% to £5.2m as it benefited from lockdown stockpiling before sales settled back at planned levels.

Co-founder and CEO Gem Misa explained 95% of its sales were through bricks and mortar retailers last year, despite the sharp drop of footfall in-store, as it only launched its e-commerce DTC channel in late 2020.

“We believe sales this year will continue to grow as we would have generated a lot of trial during Covid when people were looking to eat healthier meals,” she said.

Gross profits in the period almost doubled from £733k to £1.41m, leading to a 45% cut in its operating loss to £1.2m.

The company is targeting sales of £7m on 2021, partly driven by strong international growth as its products are now sold in 9,000 major retailers in the UK and US as well as exports to Europe, South East Asia and the Middle East.

Products, including cauliflower and other vegetable rice and fruit & nut breakfasts, are sold in all the major UK supermarkets as well as Walmart, Kroger, Target and Whole Foods in the US.

Last year UK sales grew by 20% to £2.8m, but US sales grew 54% to reach US$3.4m (£2.5m).

The brand has successfully raised crowdfunding cash previously, having raised £743k from a £600k target in June 2019 and a bumper £1.4m under its previous Cauli Rice branding in 2017.