London-based vegan burger startup The Vurger Co. has raised £300,000 ($389,000)—166 percent more than its initial funding goal of £180,000 ($233,000)—since launching its crowdfunding campaign on platform CrowdCube last week. Vurger Co founders Rachel Hugh and Neil Potts were inspired to create the burger company after traveling to California to explore the state’s plant-based cuisine. Last summer, the duo debuted their burgers—made with whole-food ingredients and devoid of processed meat replacers—at a London market. Since then, the Vurger Co has gained international acclaim and was contracted by United States hot sauce brand Tabasco to create a vegan burger for its summer barbecue campaign. In May 2017 alone, the company sold 1,148 plant-based burgers during only 35.5 hours of operation at local pop-ups and catering events. “The responses we’ve seen to our work,” Potts said, “demonstrates the growing demand for our concept and a genuine hole that exists in the market here in London.” Potts and Hugh will use the funding to secure a lease on a permanent location and cover the initial costs of a restaurant, which is slated to open in early 2018. Stateside, plant-based burgers are also gaining momentum with Beyond Burger’s expansion to 101-location chain restaurant BurgerFi on July 3.
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