VANCOUVER — Conor Power wasn’t a vegan when it dawned on him about a year ago to create a meal-kit service centred around plant-based meals. Though he still isn’t—he calls himself a flexitarian who eats mostly animal-product-free meals— the company he now helms, Vegano, has raised more than $4 million in an oversubscribed Series A funding round.
That Power continues to eat the occasional filet of salmon is kind of the point. His company targets a demographic that wants to consume more plant-based foods, but needs help with recipes and techniques along the way. “The way that our platform is set up, [it] teaches you how to cook and create new meals in a space that a lot of people haven’t had the chance to learn how to cook in yet,” said Power.
With ambitious expansion plans, Vancouver-based Vegano is riding a pandemic-fuelled boom that’s changed the outlook for a meal-kit industry that had struggled to find a sustainable long-term business model. Power—and Vegano’s investors—are betting the legion of new COVID-inspired home cooks will be enough to overcome the structural problems that have plagued the industry.