Plant-based platform Vevolution is hosting 280 startups for fundraising. Co-founder Damien Clarkson sheds light on what goes on behind the scenes.
Vevolution, a platform for plant-based innovators, is hosting 280 plant-based and cell-based startups for fundraising from established industry investors.
After organising the first global edition of its Pitch & Plant competition late last year, which saw six startups gain investor interest, Vevolution has gone from strength-to-strength. Having launched the beta last autumn, there are 280 deals live on the platform now. The companies range from pre-seed to Series A. Among the investors are Blue Horizon, New Crop Capital, Veg Capital, and Dismatrix, to name a few.
But with such a large number of businesses gearing up for investment, how does Vevolution verify them? “The platform is totally open to any plant-based or cell-based company to register,” co-founder Damien Clarkson told The Vegan Review. There’s also temporarily free registration for startups. “We check that they are a legitimate company and are plant-based or cell-based, but beyond that, it is left to the investors to pick companies they are interested in to have discussions with, and they do their own due diligence.”
He added that for the six startups securing interest in Pitch & Plant, the investors have grouped together and done their own due diligence. Currently, Clarkson himself reaches out to startups and discusses their rounds. But soon, a dedicated community manager will be helping startups get investment-ready.
The signing up process is straightforward. “It’s as simple as uploading your pitch deck and supporting information and chatting with our community of investors actively looking for deals,” explains Clarkson. “If an investor is interested in making an investment into a company they discover on our platform, they will subject that startup to the normal due diligence procedure they follow with their investments.”
And what does that due diligence procedure comprise? For Michiel van Deursen, founder of Capital V and one of Vevolution’s partner investors, it’s about fitting his portfolio and thesis. “When it does, I look at the team. Do they have what it takes? And the numbers, do they add up? Will there be a large enough market? Can I add value as an investor to the company? Is it new and innovative?” he says. “The answers to these questions and my experience as an investor and entrepreneur will help me with my decision.”
Van Deursen adds that the most exciting startup for him this year is JellaTech, a female-founded startup producing cell-based collagen and gelatin. Clarkson believes the quality of the startups this year is high, something that has been communicated back to him and his team by the investors.
“The truth is that there has never been a better time to be fundraising as a plant-based or cell-based business,” says the co-founder. “So we expect a high percentage of these companies to secure funding or complete new rounds in the coming year.