Dutch company Willicroft, Europe’s first plant-based cheese brand to achieve B-Corp certification, announces the launch of a crowdfunding campaign to support the release of its latest development at retail and food service in 2024: Willicroft Original Better, a vegan butter made using beans and fermentation.
“It’s like butter, but better!”
Willicroft aims to raise €350,000 through a convertible loan agreement (CLA) via Seedblink. Individuals or investors will have two options to convert the loans into equity shares in the company: a valuation cap of €7.5 million or a 20% discount. As the company explains, the likely conversion date of the CLA is set for Willicroft’s Series A in early 2025.
The campaign’s goal is €475,000; however, Willicroft already has €125,000 committed offline by existing investors.
Regarding returns, the company believes it is well-positioned to continue expanding and is projecting a revenue of €1.85 million for 2024. €1.35 million will come from new customers, and €500,000 from existing customers. 60% of the income is expected to come from sales of the new plant-based butter.
According to the Dutch company, three Michelin-starred restaurants will use the product from January onwards, and it has secured listings with industrial bakers, caterers, retailers, and wholesalers.
Better than butter
Figures from ResearchAndMarkets show that the vegan butter market is expected to grow significantly from 2023 to 2030. Health-conscious consumers are driving the demand, as it is considered a healthier alternative to butter.
Willicroft’s butter is described as a clean-label alternative to butter, “but better,” suitable for spreading, cooking, and baking. The company claims that it is Europe’s first vegan butter made using a traditional method called precise fermentation.
The process transforms beans into butter using non-GMO bacteria, while unlocking the beans’ nutrition into the butter and replicating butyric acid, a key element in butter’s flavor. The final product, compared to dairy butter, contains 10-15g less saturated fat per 100g, melts at the same temperature, and is seven times more sustainable.
Willicroft is an environmentally focused company. It initially made its products using cashews but later adapted its recipes to legumes, which are said to have a smaller carbon footprint than nuts.
In 2021, Capital V, the VC firm founded by prolific vegan investor Michiel van Deursen, invested in the company. In 2022, Willicroft raised €2 million to launch a spreadable bean-based cheese in the UK, Germany, and the Nordics. In the Netherlands, its range is available at retailers Albert Heijn and Jumbo.
“We’re bringing what we believe is Europe’s most delicious plant-based butter to market — Willicroft Original Better. It’s like butter, but better!” says Willicroft.
The crowdfunding campaign will go live on the 20th of November, 2023.