Four vegan venture funds from Europe and North America have announced a pre-seed investment into Nigerian plant-based innovator, VeggieVictory. The move may be a sign of things to come with many investors viewing Africa as the next plant-based frontier.
VeggieVictory, which claims to be Nigeria’s first plant-based food tech business, will use the funding to develop its product range, alongside its main brand, Vchunks, a plant based meat substitute, and its vegan version of local beef jerky, ‘Kilishi’, a ready-to-eat snack.
There have been other forays into the vegan market in Nigeria, a country of over 200 million inhabitants – making it the most populous country in Africa – as veganism gains traction and people look to cut down on meat consumption. Across the African continent similar trends can be found, and of course, many traditional African meals have always been vegan.
“Demand has been way up in most major cities. It’s awesome times for those who like to eat plant-based. Some of the catalysts have been vegan documentaries, popular YouTubers, and plant-based alternatives to meat and dairy,” Happy Cow founder Eric Brent told The Guardian, talking about the movement in Africa.
Three of the four VCs which have closed VeggieVictory’s pre-seed round are funds which invest solely in vegan companies. The Lagos based company was one of nine finalists from 350 initial applicants in Vevolution’s Pitch & Plant 2020 – the global investment competition for plant-based and animal-free startups.
“We are excited to have won over these well-known investors not only for VeggieVictory but the African continent as the next frontier for the plant-based movement”, says Hakeem Jimo, founder and CEO of VeggieVictory.
“I am fascinated by Africa, and see tremendous growth and opportunities there. The continent is ready to skip some steps and rapidly adapt to plant-based protein, comparable with the leap to other new technologies; think cell phones and mobile banking”, says Michiel van Deursen, founder of Capital V, one of the investors based in Spain.