‘Plant-based' fast food chain Neat Burger has announced plans to open 30 further sites across London following the completion of a funding round valuing the company at $70m (£51m).
Following the dramatic increase on the $27m (£20m) valuation of the company last year and with high-profile backers including Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton, the group has announced plans to open 14 new restaurants over the next 12 months. This included Victoria (October), Canary Wharf (November) and Westfield Stratford (December), with restaurants opening in Bishopsgate, Ealing, Kings Road and the O2 in January 2022. Sites in Queensway and Waterloo are set to follow in the spring and further sites thereafter in Covent Garden, London Bridge, Clapham, Hammersmith and Shoreditch. Regional expansion is also planned for 2022.
The 14 new restaurants will more than triple the brand's existing bricks and mortar portfolio, with existing venues in Oxford Circus, Soho, Camden and Finsbury Park.
An additional 16 kitchens are also set to open across the capital as of early 2022, made available through Deliveroo and virtual kitchen partner REEF.
The raise will fund international expansion (including the US, UAE and Italy) and product development, and was led by Rajeev Misra, chief executive of SoftBank Investment Advisers.
Misra said: "I am thrilled to be part of the Neat team as it continues to develop and expand in the UK – the vegan market is growing rapidly, and it is an exciting time for the brand."
Hamilton said: "We created Neat Burger to make plant-based eating more accessible to everyone whether you eat plant-based all the time or just want to add it to your diet every now and again. The response to Neat Burger since we opened has been incredible. I'm really proud of the boundaries we have been able to push in this space and the plans for expansion both in terms of sites and delivery are really exciting."
Neat Burger was founded in 2019 by the Cream Group with Beyond Meat investor Tommaso Chiabra and Hamilton. Investors now include Henrik Fjordbak, former chief operating officer of Joe and the Juice; David Yeung, founder of Green Monday; and Anthony Di Iorio, co-founder of cryptocurrency Ethereum.