May 22 (SeeNews) - Bulgaria's Novel Plant Foods, operating under the vegan snacks brand Brain Foods, plans to launch a new funding round and expand its distribution network in Europe this year, CEO and co-founder Plamen Medarov told SeeNews.
The company aims to make available its products at 5,000 locations across Europe by the end of 2023 from about 1,000 at present, Medarov said in a recent interview with SeeNews.
The company is focused on maintaining a dynamic approach to research and development (R&D), investments and marketing efforts to stay competitive within the industry, Medarov said, declining to disclose the size and start date of the upcoming investment round.
The company's sales revenue surged by 233% in the first five months of this year compared to the like period of 2022. Aside from Bulgaria, the brand's products are sold in Germany, Italy, Malta, France, Sweden, Portugal, Greece, Hungary, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK, the CEO noted.
Brain Foods signed its first distributor, local organic foods producer Smart Organic [BUL:SO], in 2020. The following year it received its first two orders from supermarket chain Lidl. In September 2021, Brain Foods secured a 70,000 euro ($75,656) investment from ProVeg Incubator, making it the first Bulgarian company to receive funding from the German plant-based and cultured food startup incubator.
Continuing its growth, the company raised 550,000 euro in a seed funding round in November 2022, with investors including Vitosha Venture Partners, venture equity fund New Vision Fund 3 and the ProVeg Incubator.
Most recently, Brain Foods won the Best Startup Award 2023 at confectionery and snacks trade fair ISM Cologne and its wafers secured the runner-up position for the Best New Vegan Product at the Natural & Organic Products Europe Innovation Awards 2023 in London.
Novel Plant Foods was founded in 2019, whereas the Brain Foods brand was created in 2020. The company, which currently employs six people, offers products such as vegan wafers, oatmeal bites and flapjacks.
($ = 0.9252 euro)