AN Altrincham-based vegan chocolate firm has received a multi-million pound boost.

Blue Horizon Ventures, a venture capital fund renowned for developing ‘game-changing’ plant-based food brands, has decided to invest in LoveRaw ­— which currently employs nine members of staff.

This comes just two years after Rimi Thapar, founder and managing director of LoveRaw, rejected a £50,000 investment offered by Dragons' Den star and serial investor, Deborah Meaden, in determination to maintain a higher equity stake in the business.

Since declining this deal, Rimi and her business partner and husband, Manav Thapar, have worked hard to hone the brand’s 100 per cent natural, vegan chocolate buttercup product, now manufactured in five flavours and sold in major supermarkets and other retail chains across 10 different countries worldwide.

In signing the seven-figure investment deal, Blue Horizon Ventures will now support Rimi and Manav in successfully disrupting the vegan confectionery industry, a strategy supported by newly appointed non-executive-director, Juliet Barratt, co-founder and previous chief marketing officer of Grenade ­— a healthy snacking brand offering high protein and low sugar nutrition bars.

Michael Kleindl, founder and managing partner of Blue Horizon Ventures, said: “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.”

Juliet Barratt added: “The team at LoveRaw are completely committed to making and selling really tasty vegan confectionery. “Rimi and Manav are great – they have an amazing work ethic, are driven and smart but most of all, extremely humble.

“I am very proud to be involved with LoveRaw and to be able to work with them to grow their brand further.”

Rimi Thapar added: “Having Blue Horizon on board is game-changing. “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. “After being introduced to Juliet through a mutual contact, we knew that she possessed invaluable knowledge that she could share. “We couldn’t be happier to be working with another entrepreneur within the industry.”

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