21/8/2019 – Abillionveg, a plant-based product review platform has successfully secured a US$2 million in seed funding led by 500 Startups, with the participation of Calibre Ventures, Blue Horizon Group, 1/0 Capital, and family offices across Asia and the United States.
The round was also joined by Founder of non-profit company Room to Read and author, John Wood, who has also come abroad as both an investor and advisor.
So far, this investment into Abillionveg is said to be one of the largest seed funding rounds given to a social impact startup in Southeast Asia.
The total funding at Abillionveg stands at US$2.6 million to date, and most of the capital will be used to accelerate its efforts in technology, recruitment, and growing its community.
Based in Singapore, Abillionveg is a community-driven review platform that helps people across the world to discover and share insights about plant-based dishes, packaged foods, as well as cruelty-free consumer products.
For every review posted on the platform with a photo, the startup will reward its users with credit, which they can later convert into actual donations for animal and marine life welfare organizations.
“It’s a small but effective way to inspire people to make the next purchase more sustainable,” said Vikas Garg, the founder and CEO of Abillionveg.
“In the future we’re going to change the way advertisers work with companies like ours, incentivizing them to contribute to the change we’re working to create,” he added.
In return, these reviews are also sent to firms and businesses as constructive feedback to help them improve their products and introduce more sustainable options.
Abillionveg currently claims to have 50,000 reviews posted across 30,000 vegan dishes and more than 8,000 consumer products in 90 countries, with the majority from Singapore, Canada, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, and the United States.
In an interview, Garg told Hong Kong Tatler, “our ultimate goal is to inspire a billion people around the world to live a plant-based lifestyle.”
“Even if they don’t become fully vegan, it’s about raising awareness around these issues and catalyzing a movement, one which we think will be the biggest trend in sustainability in the next 20 years,” Garg added.
On the other hand, the purpose-driven business also has a target of donating US$1 billion to support animal welfare and education causes. But for its first step, the startup is looking to donate US$1 million by 2020.
“Our growth reflects demand in the market for more sustainable options, Currently, about 5 percent of the world’s population or 400 million people identify as vegetarian. We want to see that number at 10-15 percent higher.”
“There’s a broader trend of consumers advocating against animal agriculture which is driving significant shifts in their purchasing behaviors when it comes to the food and products they consume, and this is happening globally.”