Heura raises €16m to accelerate the protein transition

  • Already available in 16 countries, the Mediterranean plant-based meat brand gains backing to grow its R&D team and expand internationally.
  • Football players including Chris Smalling, Sergi Roberto and Cesc Fábregas have invested, as well as entrepreneurs including Oscar Pierre and Michiel Van Deursen.

Mediterranean plant-based meat brand, Heura, has announced a €16m investment round led by Impact Fooding. Founded in 2017 by food activists Marc Coloma and Bernat Añaños, this is the Series A investment round led by the Barcelona-based start-up, who aim to accelerate the protein transition from animals to plants.

Heura is a mission-driven company, backed by mission-driven investors, including Impact Fooding, Unovis, Lever VC, Capital V and Green Monday. Earlier this month the company closed a crowdfunding round to offer their committed community of Good Rebels the chance to own equity in the company for as little as €20. International football players such as Chris Smalling, Sergi Roberto and Cesc Fábregas all invested, showing their trust in the brand and allowing Heura to sustain its exponential growth.

The Barcelona-based start-up closed 2020 with a turnover of €8 million, triple the previous year, making it one of the fastest-growing companies in the European plant-based industry. During the final quarter of 2020, Heura was able to achieve the same turnover as the entirety of 2019, demonstrating the brand’s sustained exponential growth despite an adverse environment triggered by the global coronavirus pandemic.

A company rooted in activism, Heura is immensely proud of the positive impact their plant-based meat products have had on both the environment and animal welfare. In 2020, the brand saved:

  • More than 3,000 million litres of water – equivalent to 50 million showers or 1,232 Olympic swimming pools
  • More than 6.7 million kg of CO2 – equivalent to travelling over 27 million km by car; or travelling the circumference of the earth almost 700 times
  • The lives of more than 400,000 animals

Growth pillars for Heura

This capital increase will be used to invest in R&D to develop new products, and to expand into new markets. Heura currently operates in 16 countries, with a strong presence in Spain and other European countries. It has recently entered the French, Italian and UK markets, the latter being one of the most important plant-based food markets in Europe.

The Heura R&D team is currently hiring to grow the new product development team, increasing product variety and quality, following the Mediterranean diet standards. Food technologists will continue to overcome challenges faced in the industry, ensuring products created are healthier and tastier than meat. Last year, Heura developed a fat analog made using extra virgin olive oil to mimic the juiciness of animal fat whilst maintaining a healthy nutritional profile.

Heura co-founder and CEO Marc Coloma said:

 “Having such a mission-driven profile of investors who trust and believe in our purpose means we’ll be able to boost the protein transition and accelerate the change we want to see in the world. Our mission is clear, and now we have gas to get there faster!”

Heura’s rapid expansion comes at a time where the plant-based sector as a whole is expected to reach a staggering $480.43 billion globally by 2024, according to a recent report from BIS research. In the UK, the plant-based sector has grown by 40% in the past five years, with vegans and vegetarians expected to make up a quarter of the British population by 2025.

 

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