Dharma Southern Kitchen Chicken Sandwich

©Samantha Lawless

Dharma Southern Kitchen Announces Huge Expansion Plan for US Southeast and Beyond

Dharma Southern Kitchen, a vegan comfort food restaurant based in Orlando, FL, has announced it is expanding in Florida throughout 2022, and embarking on a strategic growth plan for the Southeast US and beyond in 2023. Through a new investment fund campaign, the chain intends to open company or franchise locations in every major US city in the next five to eight years.  Southern with a vegan twist Dharma says it differs from most vegan fast-casual concepts by focusing on “down-home” comfort fare like fried chick’n, mac ‘n cheese, grits and slaw. The chain’s top-selling items include:   Nashville “Hawt” – Spicy fried chik’n with pickles and white BBQ slaw The Orange Bird – Florida citrus BBQ chik’n topped with roasted garlic sauce Biscuits n’ Gravy …



MeliBio Secures $5.7 Million in Seed Funding to Disrupt Global Honey Industry

MeliBio, the world’s first company making real honey without bees, announces a $5.7 million seed funding raise to commercialize its first line of bee-free honey. The seed round, led by Astanor Ventures, brings the startup’s total funding to $7.2 million to date. The raise follows a successful test launch of MeliBio’s honey in four New York City restaurants and at one CPG company, and the startup will now begin scaling its operations and manufacturing. More than 30 companies around the world have already signed on to try its novel honey, MelioBio says. Giving bees a break Founded in 2020 by Darko Mandich and Aaron Schaller, PhD., MeliBio uses precision fermentation and plant science to create its proprietary honey products. The brand conducted a blind industry …


ProProtein founder Kaisa Orgusaar

Founder and CEO Kaisa Orgusaar © ProProtein

Estonia: ProProtein Opens Seed Round for Cow-Free Casein

ProProtein, the female-driven Estonian alt dairy startup, has initiated a seed funding round to develop its precision fermentation platform. Looking for €700,000, ProProtein aims to develop scalable biotech to produce dairy proteins from yeast. Through March and April, ProProtein will be raising its seed round funding, following the company’s announcement of a successful casein expression by co-founder and CSO Tiina Tamm PhD. Caseins are essential functional proteins in milk that give cheese the ability to melt and stretch as well as traditional flavors. Casein without the cow Calling the latest casein expression a “big milestone”, ProProtein hopes the next funding round we will focus on optimizing its yields and going through safety analysis, with the ultimate goal to produce real dairy cheese without cows. Female-led …


OPP crowdfunder

© One Planet Pizza

Sponsored Post

Saving the Planet One Slice At a Time. One Planet Pizza is Crowdfunding!

One Planet Pizza has a plan: to save our planet, one slice at a time, with epic tasting frozen plant-based pizza. As a family-founded brand, established in 2016 in Norwich, it all started in the home of father and son founders, Mike & Joe Hill, and quickly became a successful local business. The pizzas are stocked in hundreds of outlets in over a dozen countries. The band’s UK presence is strong with a direct ecommerce site, and export is a large part of the business. One Planet Pizza is now ramping up production ahead of a major retailer listing launching in April of this year and is in discussion with other UK supermarkets to support increasing their plant-based range. Having perfected the range and expanded …


Mycorena’s mycelium-based protein Promyc

© Mycorena

Sweden’s Mycorena Closes “Largest Ever” Nordic Series A Investment in Alt Protein 

Mycorena – the Swedish startup developing mycelium-based protein from upcycled food waste – has closed what it claims is the largest Nordic Series A funding round in alt protein to date. The fresh €24 million ($26.8 million) Series A funding will be used to upscale and commercialize Promyc – the food tech’s proprietary alt protein product.  Mycorena’s mycelium-based protein Promyc can be used to create realistic alt meats, with the sustainable ingredient developed by upcycling food waste in industrial processing such as bread dough from bakeries. Mycorena has also developed fungi to create a type of fat that behaves in the same way as animal fat, enhancing the flavor of alt-meat products. Mycelium-based foods have emerged as a major category in the development of alt …


One Planet Pizza crowdfunding

© One Planet Pizza

One Planet Pizza Crowdfunding Campaign Raises Over 76% of Target on First Day

One Planet Pizza crowdfunding campaign begins ahead of launch at major retailer. Yesterday, UK plant-based frozen pizza brand One Planet Pizza launched a crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs with the aim of raising £200,000. In just a day, the company has already raised £155,000, over three-quarters of its target. When it launched in 2016, One Planet Pizza was the UK’s first ever frozen vegan pizza company. The brand is now stocked in hundreds of outlets in a dozen countries, with its first major British retail listing to be announced soon. Further worldwide expansion is also planned, with the pizzas about to launch in Australasia and the Middle East and discussions underway in Spain, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, and Germany. Additionally, One Planet will soon be targeting the …


Snack brand Livia's


UK Snack Brand Livia’s Bought by S-Ventures After Going Into Administration

British free-from snack brand Livia’s has been bought by London investor S-Ventures after falling into administration. The company reported a pre-tax loss of £1.4 million for the year ending September 30 2020. Until 2020, Livia’s experienced rapid growth of 150% YOY. The company was the UK’s fastest-growing free-from snacks brand, raising over £1 million in a crowdfunding campaign 18 months ago. With listings at major supermarkets Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose, and Ocado, founder Olivia Wollenberg told vegconomist in 2021 that the brand was “unstoppable”. Impact of Covid-19 Despite its previous success, Livia’s was hit hard by the pandemic, as many of its sales come from meal deals, impulse buys, and on-the-go snacks. Livia’s had been valued at £11.3 million following its crowdfunding campaign, but the company …


Vegnables Vegan Lunchables


Vegnables Plant-Based Boxes Launching Wefunder Campaign to Re-Invent Lunchables

Snack boxes filled with ready-to-eat foods are a perennial favorite of kids’ school lunches. Now, Vegnables has arrived to offer a new option for tasty, allergy-friendly, plant-based lunch box meals. The company is preparing to launch on Wefunder on January 24th.  Filling a snack box void  According to Vegnables (pronounced VEE-gan-a-buls), 50 million parents buy Lunchables every year, but such products are typically filled with artificial additives, allergens and unhealthy levels of sodium. Vegnables was created to a convenient, affordable and familiar snack box made with healthier plant-based ingredients.  Vegnables’ products, inspired by Lunchables, are available online and in select retailers. They are currently available in three varieties: Nacho Box – Nachos, cheese and salsa Pizza Box – Pizza crust, tomato sauce, and shredded cheese …


Piglet TV ad Viva! crowdfunding


Vegan Charity Viva! Launches Crowdfunding to Spread TV Message to 16M Viewers

Vegan charity Viva! has launched a crowdfunding campaign to broadcast its first vegan ad on UK television. Funds raised by the campaign will be used to show the impactful advert on Channel 4 and its associated networks in February 2022.  “Most people in the UK despise cruelty to animals, yet simply don’t make the connection between animal cruelty and what is on their plate”     Viva!’s TV message encourages the public to make the connection between animals they love and the animals they eat, with viewers invited to consider the morality of eating said animals. A raise of £40,000 through Crowdfunding, match-funded from a generous donor, in addition to a further grant from Channel 4 will enable the TV advert to reach a potential 16 …


Ready Burger

©Ready Burger

Ready Burger Smashes £1.5M Crowdfunder in Hours, Set For Growth With Prices to Rival McDonald’s & Burger King

London-based vegan fast-food restaurant Ready Burger has announced the close of a hugely successful crowdfunding campaign, raising £2 million in an oversubscribed campaign. The 100% plant-based QSR brand reached its initial £1.5 million target in a matter of hours before extending. Ready Burger claims to have created the UK’s first scalable, value-driven, entirely plant-based QSR brand, with menu items at a price point which rivals global fast-food chains like McDonald’s or Burger King. The sustainability-focused brand’s £1.99 signature burger bears a striking resemblance to a Big Mac, and the rest of the menu offers veganised versions of fast-food classics. Ready Burger’s first site is on Park Road in London’s Crouch End, with a second site due to open on Finchley Road in September. Third and …


Meatless Farm

©Meatless Farm

Crowdfunding Continues to Trend as Meatless Farm Launches £5M Opportunity

UK plant-based meat maker Meatless Farm is giving consumers an opportunity to invest in the fast-growing company, as it launches a £5 million crowdfunding campaign. The move comes amongst a spate of crowdfunding successes for vegan businesses, as investors look to cash in on the plant-based boom.  “We are reaching a tipping point” – Meatless Farm CEO Morten Toft Bech Individual investors can get started by investing just £10 into the company, which already stocks its plant-based products in most major supermarkets including Tesco, Morrisons, Asda, Sainsbury’s, and Ocado. Founded in 2016 by Morten Toft Bech, and launched in the UK in 2018, the Yorkshire-based company now operates in more than 20 countries, including the US, Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands. Having previously raised £38m …


© Vegan Launch

Vegan Launch: The First Vegan Crowdfunding Platform Bringing Together Investors and Plant-Based Entrepreneurs 

Vegan Launch has launched what it claims to be the first vegan public investment crowdfunding platform, allowing the general public to invest in a wide range of vegan startups. The platform aims to be a leading provider of ethical and vegan investment products to the vegan retail investor market. Having identified the problem that only 1 out of every 200 vegan startups seeking capital is able to raise sufficient funds, Vegan Launch aims to bring together all types of investors and vegan entrepreneurs to fund as many vegan businesses as possible. With the minimum investment amount as little as $100, individual investors can spread their risk by creating a diverse portfolio The platform estimates that vegan investors represent $3 trillion of the $100 trillion global …