LoveRaw , a UK-based vegan confectionery business, has received a “multi-million-pound” investment from venture-capital firm Blue Horizon Ventures .

Located in Altrincham, Greater Manchester, LoveRaw was founded in 2013 by Rimi Thapar, who two years ago rejected a GBP50,000 (US$65,460) investment from Deborah Meaden on Dragon’s’ Den – a TV show on which start-ups pitch for backing. Ms Thapar is supported by her husband and business partner Manav Thapar.

The company manufactures 100% vegan Butter Cups in five flavours, including peanut butter and salted caramel, and counts Waitrose , Whole Foods Market , Boots and online retailer Ocado amongst its customers. The business employs nine people and currently exports to ten different countries worldwide.

A spokesperson for the business said LoveRaw has “plans” for listings in the UK’s big four supermarkets – Tesco , Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Asda – while overseas markets include countries in Europe, the Middle East and Australia.

Managing director Thapar commented: “Having Blue Horizon on board is game-changing. Regardless of the investment, our values align with theirs: We are all on a mission to make plant-based eating the norm and to also turn LoveRaw into an international brand. We are so glad that we waited for the right investor and didn’t buckle when the Dragons’ Den offer came in when we so needed it.”

LoveRaw approached Switzerland-based Blue Horizon, which has also backed US meat-free business Beyond Meat , for investment early last year having recorded a 98% year-on-year growth rate.

Michael Kleindl, founder and managing partner of Blue Horizon, added: “We are extremely pleased to welcome LoveRaw to the Blue Horizon portfolio. Together we will work to provide consumers around the world with plant-based and ‘clean-label’ products from the indulgence category and aim to convert the current product options towards more sustainable and eco-friendly alternatives. We are confident that LoveRaw has the opportunity to become market leaders in their sector.”

Meanwhile, Juliet Barratt, a co-founder of UK-based sports nutrition snacks brand Grenade , has joined LoveRaw as a non-executive director. She will work with Blue Horizon to “help LoveRaw quickly dominate the vegan confectionery industry by developing key business areas of branding, supply chain, manufacturing, recruitment and marketing”.