US: Vegan wholesale start-up VEDGEco acquired by Vejii Holdings
$6.25 million share purchase deal will help both parties diversify into new channels
Online plant-based marketplace Vejii Holdings has entered into a $6.25 million share purchase agreement to acquire B2B online wholesale start-up VEDGEco.
The deal will enable both parties to diversify their offering and enter new channels. It will also provide VEDGEco with the financial backing and industry skills to scale its business.
To fund the deal, Vejii issued $3.5 million worth of shares to VEDGEco shareholders on 31 December 2021, as well earn-out shares worth $2.75 million which will be issued once certain terms are met.
VEDGEco management will continue to run its operations once the transaction closes.
Vejii has been openly seeking strategic M&A opportunities this year to complement its DTC model.
In September, Vejii founder and CEO Kory Zelickson said the company was in a unique position as it was gaining early access to trends, brands and categories available on its platform.
“Our goal is to acquire these companies, bring them to the forefront and then find the growth capital for them to scale.” Zelickson told NutritionInvestor at the time.
“We can provide these companies with access to national distribution channels and marketing and customer acquisition tools and skills. It’s a very natural fit for us and it makes a lot of sense for us to start looking strategically at acquiring companies that that we can get behind,” he added.
On the deal Zelickson said: “We heard consistently from the brands we serve that they were seeking to make the leap from e-commerce, to grocery and foodservice distribution. This could mean shipping samples, managing broker relationships, or gaining access to those restaurants and grocers not served by the larger wholesalers.
“Now we can also help our brand partners get access to distribution in local restaurants and grocers, expanding Vejii’s capabilities from just B2C to also include B2B and food service,” the CEO added.
As part of the acquisition, Vejii will also gain access to VEDGEco’s existing facilities in Hawaii, Northern California and Georgia, while providing the start-up with access to its facilities in Texas, Wisconsin and California.
“The acquisition of VEDGEco will allow us to add a new revenue stream while increasing our buying power and margins with large brands, and also adding tremendous value for the brands on our platform.” Darren Gill, COO of Vejii, said.
VEDGEco was launched in 2020 as a nationwide plant-based foodservice distributor in the US. It has been described in the press as “the Vegan Costco”.