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The Spanish startup Heura Foods, which markets products 100% plant-based meat, has announced the launch of a new round of financing of 20 million euros, including the issuance of convertible bonds that give rise to shares (or capital). The round began earlier this year with Heura’s raising of more than 4 million euros in just 12 hours through its Equity for Good Rebels crowdfunding campaign, in which more than 5,000 people from around the world joined forces for a common cause. Breaking from traditional investor norms, approximately half of the participants were between 18 and 35 years old, and 42% were women.

“Having investors who are aligned with the same mission as Heura and who are willing to take bold measures to accelerate the transition from plant-based proteins gives us the resources to continue driving category growth across Europe,” explained Marc Coloma, Food Activist, CEO and Co-Founder of Heura. We have a clear vision, and this new financing will help us move from being a successful Spanish company in the plant-based sector to being a purely positive food technology startup that is leading the protein transition across Europe. This growth path is designed to take us to 2023 in a position to close the largest Series B round in the industry, and mark the beginning of a future that is better for people, planet and animals.”

Heura, with its sights set on Europe

With this operation, Heura seeks to position itself as a European leader in plant-based products by 2027. In its statement, the startup explains that “it will expand its ‘animal meat substitutes’ in countries where it is already present, such as France, Italy and the United Kingdom; and in new European regions such as Austria, Germany , Switzerland and the Netherlands, among others.”

In addition, Heura plans to present its first patents next November with the aim of offering new foods in 2023,” which are positive for nature, dense in nutrients and reach culinary excellence”. The clear communication of the benefits of this protein transition, together with the fact of bringing together more people who vote with their fork, will help lead Heura’s growth across the continent.

Heura’s story: from social activism to creating a business model

It all started in 2017, when Marc Coloma and Bernat Añaños were doing social activism for animal rights. But beyond wanting to inform and show the impact of livestock farming, they also wanted to be part of the change, so they decided to start experimenting with producing vegetable meat from heura, a set of proteins that come from soybeans, an easy-to-grow and sustainable plant.

With a quite interesting value proposition and with an original and disruptive communication modality, Heura Foods has quickly become a sensation becoming one of the most innovative startups in Spain and one of the most attractive to work for according to LinkedIn.

However, every proposal that comes to break schemes also generates controversy. That is why, under its slogan “We are not making alternatives to animal meat, but successors”, Heura Foods has been involved in more than one controversy, especially because of its marketing campaigns, which bet on a notorious outdoor advertising and incessant activism in social networks. His trademark? The intelligent sense of humor and the challenge to change.

One of their biggest controversies happened during Holy Week in 2022. Heura hung a huge banner with the image of a nun looking lovingly at a perfect hamburger next to the phrase “This Good Friday, eat meat”. In other leaflets distributed in different parts of Madrid, the company also invited consumers to renew traditions and trust in plant-based foods to enjoy meat without violating Christian faith mandates.

As expected, creativity sparked both support and rejection. Some took it as a very creative and fun way to promote the product, while others accused the brand of trivializing religion. In any case, responses were plentiful and, as some wise person once said, “there is no such thing as bad engagement.”

 

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