Former England and Manchester United footballer Chris Smalling has backed The Vurger Co, a vegan burger and sauce company, through his VC firm, ForGood.
The latest investment will go towards the brand’s ongoing fundraiser and will help with its expansion.
Founded in 2016 by Rachel Hugh and Neil Potts as a small market stall, The Vurger Co is now about to open its fourth restaurant, in Manchester. It already has other eat-in sites in Brighton, and in London’s Shoreditch and Canary Wharf.
The company has also started selling its vegan mayonnaise and Cheezy sauces in retailers in the UK, US, and UAE. It plans to eventually bring these products to market in continental Europe with the help of this latest funding.
Smalling, who currently plays for Serie A team A.S. Roma, and follows a plant-based diet himself, commented on the investment: “Ever since we tried Vurger’s food and sauces, we knew ForGood had to be part of the team. Not only is their food high quality and tasty, but they’ve also had impressive growth too.
“At ForGood we’re committed to backing founders who are making a positive impact on the planet, and we can’t wait to watch Vurger build a global business. I’m super excited they’ve opened a Manchester restaurant too, so I can visit when I’m back in the UK!”
Smalling launched ForGood earlier this year with vegan investor, entrepreneur and activist Sebastiano Cossia Castiglioni, Rebecca Wheeler, Co-Founder of the health and wellness-focussed creative agency Library; and Jonny Stanton, a start-up and communications advisor who has worked with several plant-based and sustainable organisations.
ForGood invests exclusively in start-ups and entrepreneurs that are tackling urgent environmental challenges. The firm has already backed several big names in food, including Heura, allplants, THIS and Matthew Kenney Cuisine.
Rachel Hugh, Co-Founder of The Vurger Co added: “We’re thrilled to welcome Chris Smalling and ForGood to The Vurger Co family and can’t wait to see our growth plans come to fruition.
“We started the brand back in 2016 as a small London market stall, so to now have four restaurants, a CPG sauce business, and the backing from Chris is a real testament to the progress our brand has made since then.”