Virchew Launches New Capital Raise for Business Expansion
Virchew, the company behind North America’s first plant-based food brand for dogs supported by veterinary nutrition programs, has just announced a new capital round that will fund business expansion in the Greater Vancouver area and distribution across Canada starting in 2022.
The Plant-based Movement
Innovation in plant-based foods is the future for people and dogs. Over the next decade, the enormous animal-based human and dog food industries are going to be entirely disrupted by innovative plant-based foods and alternative protein companies. According to a Utopia survey of 18 to 24 year-olds in Germany, more than half of those surveyed have given up eating meat. Meanwhile, a survey from The Food Institute found that 65% of Generation Z Americans want a more 'plant-forward' diet, while 79% choose to go meatless one or two times a week. A YouGov poll found that one out of five young people believe that the future of eating is meat-free. (Source: Investor Place)
Further, a 2019 University of Guelph study found that 35 per cent of owners whose pets ate conventional diets were interested in switching their animals to a vegan diet. (Source: Food in Canada)
Ahead of the Curve
After several years of research and positioning beginning in 2011, Virchew has built an extraordinary foundation that will lead to new ways to feed, care for, and live with, companion dogs which in Canada/US number over 75M. Virchew has plans to duplicate their vertical business model (research, produce, market, direct to consumer) in additional large cities from Canada and into the USA.
Founder, Laura Simonson, has 25-years of success in real estate (sales, marketing and management), fitness studio ownership, business development, venture capital, event production, website development and design, and communications. With Virchew, Simonson has invested a decade of research and development along with a team of experienced entrepreneurs, business leaders, specialists, veterinary professionals, and Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionists.
In conjunction with a dynamic online sales platform and direct to consumer business model, Simonson has launched a brick-and-mortar location in Vancouver's pet-friendly Kitsilano - "Virchew HQ" - that has been operating since summer of 2021. Housing admin, production, display, a sample shop, customer visiting areas, team, and consultants - this unique space is quickly establishing a presence in the neighborhood. Future development will include turning an adjacent development lot into a green space and dog park, at which Virchew will hold community and customer events supported by informational sessions.
Following a successful market launch in Greater Vancouver to the company’s network during fall 2020, Virchew has opened a capital round to fund its next growth stage. The capital will finance; 1. New product development, 2. Growth of their local target market and build systems for distribution across Canada in 2022, and 3. Launch of new programs with veterinary shareholder partners and B2B collaborations
From the moment Simonson conceived Virchew, the objective was to successfully finance the company through the power of many people who shared similar virtues such as integrity, kindness, respect, and social impact - supported by strong business acumen. Through the guidance of founder, Laura Simonson, this vision has been realized.
Through a series of funding rounds with like-minded investors, the formation of Virchew’s development plan has now been supported by over 70 shareholders, which includes twelve veterinarians. It's important and timely to note that over 90% of the funding has been invested through women investors.
The invitation is open to accredited investors and present shareholders.