KBW Ventures, founded by Chief Executive Officer Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed, has announced its investment in a mission-led French startup, Furahaa Group.
Based in Paris, France, the Group was founded in 2015 by entrepreneur Arthur Devillers, and has three operating subsidiaries: PlantB2B, ViVeg, and its eponymous dining venue, Furahaa.
Plant B2B is a supply chain and distribution entity that also stocks the Group’s restaurants, while ViVeg is one of the company’s B2C arms with a vegan food subscription box business model, and Furahaa is the company’s highly-rated vegan fast food chain.
“This is my first investment in the French market. Furahaa Group, driven by Arthur’s vision for an inclusive and diverse workplace, while giving both consumers and other vendors a route to choose plant-based options, had me interested in the business immediately,” says Prince Khaled, remarking on the investment. “The distribution business is strong, and during the pandemic I saw a swift and organized pivot– something any investor would find very attractive in a portfolio company,” he continued. KBW Ventures participated in the company’s seed round alongside private investors.
“Furahaa Group was initially seeking likeminded investors to ensure our stock stability. We wanted to better meet shortages of plant-based foodstuffs, as in France alternative proteins – meat and dairy alternatives – are not yet widely available at competitive price points,” says Devillers.
“Sourcing quality ingredients at price parity was a challenge, so this led to Furahaa Group developing our own supply chain and distribution streams.”
Devillers added that the fast food segment will see new menu items very soon, with the aim of adopting the latest food science developments in the vegan ecosystem.
The Group also plans to expand in France with the opening of new Furahaa outlets, and has plans to launch a franchise model: “Furahaa would like to be the first plant-based chain in France. It’s simple: we want to be everywhere that mainstream fast food is, but offering plant-based, delicious, ethical alternatives.”
KBW Ventures has invested in a number of companies in the food technology sector including both plant-based alternatives and cultivated cellular solutions. Furahaa Group joins existing KBW Ventures portfolio companies from the plant-based realm: Rebellyous Foods, makers of plant-based chicken with B2B and B2C verticals, American fast food mainstay Veggie Grill, and vegan jerky company Moku Foods.
Alongside his work in the sector, Prince Khaled serves on the Advisory Board of the worldwide Feed The Next Billion Challenge staged by XPRIZE, a four year competition focusing on alternative proteins.