In 2017, Rachel and Neil needed funding to help power their goal of changing the face of fast-food through their 100% plant-based, soul-satisfying burgers.
Having started The Vurger Co as a small market stall in 2016, Co-founders Neil and Rachel quickly saw the potential to scale their plant-based burger business. With the demand for a full restaurant experience growing, they decided to turn to the crowd with a target of £180,000.
“The one thing that we had and that really made sense to us as a business was the community that we were building. We quickly realised if we had this following and these amazing people backing us, the best thing for us to do was leverage what we did have. That’s why crowdfunding really made sense for us.” Rachel Hugh, Co-founder.
On a mission to revolutionise fast food through the power of plants, The Vurger Co team overfunded to £299,760, raising 166% of their target.
After discovering that a plant-based diet eased co-founder Neil’s debilitating stomach issues, Neil and Rachel took a trip to California and discovered a range of vegan delicacies. As Co-founder Rachel Hugh puts it, “The amazing tastes and textures were like nothing we had experienced or available in London at the time in 2016." Thus, The Vurger Co was born.
Raising funds to power their expansion from market stalls and pop-ups wasn’t straightforward, as Rachel explains, “In 2016 our whole space, in terms of veganism, wasn’t very well understood, so when we were reaching out to VCs, or any traditional route of raising money nobody really understood the space that we were working in.”
This, paired with their rapidly growing community and social media presence made crowdfunding a natural next step.
“Reach out to those who already believe in your story, love your product and talk about you day after day. Leverage that as much as possible.”
“Connect with as many people as you can ahead of your raise. For every door that closes, as if they can refer you on to someone else. Somewhere along that chain will be someone who believes in you.”
“Have someone who can vouch for you as a mentor, someone who really understands the industry. Even feature them in your video to give yourself that stamp of approval.”
The Vurger Co team have hit some serious milestones since fueling-up with us, as Rachel explains, “After our crowdfunding campaign, we were able to fund our first restaurant site in Shoreditch. It’s open seven days a week and is profitable, so we’ve gone on to open a second site in Canary Wharf. We’ve also recently expanded into retail, with some of our products stocked in stores like Planet Organic.”
More recently, they’ve collaborated with chefs like Chloe Coscarelli, brands such as Tabasco Sauce and attended events and festivals, including Wilderness, Lululemon Sweatlife festival and Eat Drink Vegan in Los Angeles.
Here’s what Rachel has to say about their crowdfunding campaign “our experience with Crowdcube was extremely positive. Without it, I’m not sure we’d be where we are today.” We very much look forward to following the next stage of The Vurger Co’s journey.
Investing in start-ups and early stage businesses involves risks, including illiquidity, lack of dividends, loss of investment and dilution, and it should be done only as part of a diversified portfolio. Crowdcube is targeted exclusively at investors who are sufficiently sophisticated to understand these risks and make their own investment decisions. You will only be able to invest via Crowdcube once you are registered as sufficiently sophisticated. Please click here to read the full Risk Warning.
This page is approved as a financial promotion by Crowdcube Capital Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Pitches for investment are not offers to the public and investments can only be made by members of crowdcube.com on the basis of information provided in the pitches by the companies concerned.