Planet First Partners Invests £20mn in THIS™ to Accelerate UK Growth Through a Combination of Primary and Secondary Financing

June 17, 2024

Investment totalling £20mn was completed by growth equity sustainable investment platform, Planet First Partners. THIS™, the UK plant-based food brand, will use the investment to continue to accelerate its growth as a UK sustainable food champion. Growth strategy to be spearheaded by new THIS™ CEO, Mark Cuddigan, former CEO of Ella’s Kitchen.

London, [17] June 2024 --- UK plant-based food company THIS™ today announces the closing of its Series C equity funding round of £20 million. The round was completed by Planet First Partners, the European growth equity sustainable investment platform, through a combination of primary and secondary equity financing.

THIS™ will use the capital to accelerate growth in its UK home market through launches of new product ranges to cater to evolving consumer health preferences, whilst continuing to boost profitability on its core products. THIS expects to continue to gain market share with a strategy led by the new CEO, Mark Cuddigan, who will leverage the deep sector knowledge from his previous position as CEO of Ella’s kitchen.

The Company is on a mission to lead a plant-based revolution, by providing consumers with nutritious, hyper-realistic and great-tasing meat alternatives. Last year, THIS™ grew revenue by nearly 50% to become the third-largest meat alternative brand in the UK.[1] Since2019, THIS™ has launched several market-leading products, including THIS™ Isn’t Pork Sausages, This Isn't Beef Plant-Based Burgers, THIS™ Isn’t Lamb Kebabs, and THIS™ Isn’t Chicken Shawarma. Through championing great taste and nutritional value, THIS™ has secured strong repeat sales with the Big 6 supermarkets. THIS™ has recently also streamlined its operations, consolidating its production from seventeen sites down to just three, with ongoing operational enhancements continuing to improve gross margins every quarter.

Since 2019, THIS™ has raised c.£35 million from institutional and crowdfunding investors, including: BGF, Backed VC, FiveSeasons Ventures, Idinvest Partners, ECG Research, CJ Corporation, Manta RayVentures, Kreos Capital, Seedcamp, ITV and footballer Chris Smalling.

This investment represents a continuation of PlanetFirst Partners’ commitment to scale businesses which directly contribute to the climate transition.  Complementing previous investments by the firm across energy transition, industrial, and green cities themes, this transaction marks the first investment by PlanetFirst Partners in its ‘Farm 2 Fork’ vertical, which strives to support more sustainable  agriculture  and food systems. The Planet First Partners team holds deep sector expertise in food and beverage sustainability, spearheaded by Executive Chairman Frédéric de Mévius. Prior to establishing Planet First Partners in 2020, Frédéric founded Verlinvest, an investment vehicle known for building brands such as Oatly and Vita Coco.

Planet First Partners will take two seats on the board of THIS™. The fund is classified as Article 9 under the European Union's Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR). This means that the fund invests in line with strict guidelines, according to which portfolio companies must significantly contribute to sustainability goals.  THIS will directly contribute to the increased adoption of plant-based protein diets, in turn helping to prevent the conversion of biodiversity rich landscapes, and release cultivated land for ecosystem restoration.

Mark Cuddigan, CEO of THIS™, commented:
“We are excited to welcome Planet First Partners into the THIS™ family. Our partnership will be key as we continue to lead a revolution through our plant-based food to protect animals and the environment, growing brand love to become market leaders in the UK.”


Frédéric de Mévius, Chairman of Planet First Partners commented:
“We are thrilled to partner with THIS™ and support its mission to revolutionise the food industry. We believe the company is uniquely placed to capitalise on growing consumer preferences for sustainable and healthy food alternatives, whilst supporting the environment. I am personally excited to put my experience as a consumer investor behind a sustainable brand that is totally aligned with our fund’s sustainability objectives and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

About THIS™

A UK plant-based food brand for meat-lovers. THIS™ creates hyper-realistic meat alternatives and its award-winning pork, beef, chicken and lamb products are available nationwide at major supermarkets, restaurants, and cafes. The Company started trading in 2019 and is now the third-largest brand in the UK’s plant-based category, with products on the shelves of several major supermarket brands and over 60 stock keeping units. The mission: to force the world’s livestock into retirement and lead the world’s transition to plant-based food, through clever innovation and memorable communication. THIS™ also funds climate action by accelerating the adoption of plant-based protein diets, in turn helping to prevent the conversion of biodiversity rich landscapes and releasing cultivated land for ecosystem restoration.

More Information: https://this.co/

About Planet First Partners

Planet First Partners is a growth equity investment platform that invests in and partners with disruptive entrepreneurs to scale tech-enabled businesses that combine a purpose-driven mission, profitable growth, and a people-centric culture. It has assembled Limited Partners’ commitments of 450 million euros. As an Article 9 fund, Planet First Partners applies rigorous methodology for sustainable investing and commits to always follow the highest standards and strictest criteria. Founded in 2020, Planet First Partners is made up of a highly experienced, qualified team of investment and sustainability experts focused on maximising and optimising sustainability. The team is complemented by a mission-aligned advisory board, made up of global business and political leaders.

[1] Source: IRI Temple Total Grocery (Chilled Meat   Free) – 12W/E 12th May 2024

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