UK plant-based business This has pocketed £20m ($25.3m) in its latest funding round, provided by impact investor Planet First Partners.

The Series C takes the funding to date for London-headquartered This to around £35m since 2019, when the company was founded by Andy Shovel and Pete Sharman.

They both stepped aside as co-CEOs in February, giving way to Mark Cuddigan. He led Ella’s Kitchen for six years until last November but also held a number of management positions at the organic baby-food maker dating back to 2011.

In a statement announcing the new funding, Cuddigan said: “Our partnership will be key as we continue to lead a revolution through our plant-based food to protect animals and the environment, growing brand love to become market leaders in the UK.”

This claims to be the “largest independent brand” in the UK plant-based meat category. The B-Corp-certified company produces alternatives to pork, beef and chicken supplied into major supermarkets such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Asda.

Last year, the company won its first overseas listing by getting on the shelves of the Netherlands’ largest supermarket chain Albert Heijn. It also received backing from UK TV broadcaster ITV in return for marketing investment.

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This said it will use the latest cash pile to “accelerate growth” in the UK with the launch of new products. Its existing range includes This Isn’t Pork Sausages, This Isn't Beef Plant-Based Burgers, This Isn’t Lamb Kebabs and This Isn’t Chicken Shawarma.

Unfortunately, This has been caught up with two other companies in a product recall connected with an E. coli outbreak in the UK, although the country’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) stressed it is a precautionary measure.

At the weekend, the FSA revealed This had recalled its This Isn’t Chicken and Bacon wrap sold by the retailer WH Smith because of possible contamination with the bacteria.

Ireland-based Greencore and Samworth Brothers have also recalled sandwiches and other food-to-go products after an E. coli STEC O145 outbreak that has left 67 people in hospital and more than 200 ill in total.

Announcing the funding, This said revenue grew by almost 50% last year to around £19.3m. The company added it has also “streamlined its operations”, reducing the number of production sites from 17 to three.

Just Food has asked This for more details on the factory locations and what money might have been raised through their potential sale.

Planet First Partners was set up in 2020 and is headed by executive chairman Frédéric de Mévius, who previously founded the Verlinvest investment fund.

In return for the funding, Planet First Partners will take two seats on the This board.

Chairman de Mévius said: “I am personally excited to put my experience as a consumer investor behind a sustainable brand that is totally aligned with our fund’s sustainability objectives and the UN sustainable development goals.

“We believe the company is uniquely placed to capitalise on growing consumer preferences for sustainable and healthy food alternatives, whilst supporting the environment.”