Last week, the news broke that one of New York City’s best vegetarian burger restaurants was closing. Today, Londoners begin their week with the news that The Vurger Co will be opening a permanent site having broken a crowdfunding record in 77 hours.
The “artisan plant-based” burger company exceeded their crowdfunding target of £180,000 by 66% after a campaign was launched on Monday 3 July; within 30 hours the company reached its target, making it the fastest ever restaurant raise on crowdfunding platform, Crowdcube. A target of £180,000 was sought in exchange for 23.08% equity and the campaign closed on 6 July having raised £300,000 — forcing founders Rachel Hugh and Neil Potts to raise the equity offer to 33.33%.
The duo began the business late in 2016 — showcasing their voguish vegetarian burger offer on market stalls, at festivals and at a pop-up restaurant in east London’s Bethnal Green.
In a official statement this morning, Hugh and Potts said: “We are extremely excited that we hit the £300K mark in just 77 hours — we just love that everyone has got behind our mission, believed in us and our team and understood how much of an impact our concept can have on the future of food! We cannot wait to start working on our permanent home!”
The search for their permanent site is ongoing because of the unexpected haste with which they have accumulated the finance. All they can reveal at this stage is that The Vurger Co restaurant will be in a “central location.” They will continue on their self-appointed mission “to revolutionise fast food forever through the power of plants.” “Vurger” patties are made variously from beans, mushrooms, aubergines and corn and investors clearly eye growth in a market that appears to be growing palpably weary of the long-term future and sustainability of meat.
Crowdfunding for restaurants has become an increasingly popular method for operators to raise finance. The Clove Club, in March 2013, were the first high-profile London restaurant to open on the back of a successful crowdfunding campaign.
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