VFC Foods Ltd – the mission-driven vegan fried chick*n company founded in the UK just three months ago and already operational in mainland Europe with plans for international expansion, today announces a raise of £2.5m seed funding round led by Veg Capital. By the end of 2023, VFC plans to achieve sales of £20m, equivalent to 3 million chickens, and £50m in financial year 2025, or 7.5 million chickens.
Upon launch in December, the activist founders behind VFC – Matthew Glover and Adam Lyons – set out with clear and bold intentions of outpricing KFC and taking on the chicken industry. The brand attracted immediate and widespread attention from retailers and food service both in the UK and overseas, with Glover commenting to vegconomist in February: “The truth is we’ve done no marketing at all. We just haven’t needed to,” and Sales Director Stewart McGuckin describing “selling” the VFC product to retailers: “We went in there trying to sell, and they just cut to the chase and asked when can you get this to us”.
A successful entrance into the Spanish market took place this month and talks with several retailers in other European markets are taking place, with a view to becoming a fully international brand. The funding will be used to scale up production and accelerate the growth of the brand both in the UK and in overseas territories.
Co-founder Matthew Glover will become the company’s CEO, while chef Adam Lyons – who created the product at his restaurant, Source – will continue to oversee operations. Speaking of the investment today, Glover stated: “Our ultimate mission is to end factory farming, and so we are focused on driving efficiencies through our business that will allow us to compete directly with chicken on price, taste and convenience. I couldn’t be more thrilled with how well the launch phase has gone. Now, with this funding, we can really scale up, and drive up that all-important Chickens Saved figure.”
Stewart McGuckin comments today: “The launch phase has been phenomenally successful, with sales far exceeding our expectations, incredible food service and retail interest, as well as enquiries from more than 50 countries. All this has shown us two things: we have a brand and a product that people really love, and that we are ready to shift up a gear.”
Cliff Johnson, Financial Advisor at Veg Capital explains why the investment made sense. “VFC is exactly the type of company that Veg Capital looks to support. From the focus on removing as many animals from the food chain as possible to their unbashful activism, supporting the education on the impact of one’s dietary choices, we are proud to follow on from our pre-seed investment and support the team in their growth plans.”