New lockdown business wins global investment contest

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Vegan ice cream brand Fravocado diversified its business after Covid hit and set up an online shop for frozen home deliveries, going on to win a global investment competition.

After losing a big percentage of their retail customers when shops and restaurants were closed, Fravocado realised it needed to implement big changes if it wanted its business to survive the pandemic. With many businesses turning to sell online, it thought that following suit was near impossible due to having a frozen product. After months of research it managed to find a way to send its ice cream in the post for consumers to enjoy without leaving their house.

Because of the financial implications of shipping frozen and to make it cost-effective there had to be a reasonable minimum order, which founder Becky Osborne, thought would price them out of the e-commerce market. She says: “I had to put myself into the consumer’s shoes, and things were tight financially, could I really justify spending a minimum of £30 on ice cream, let alone have the freezer space for it.”

The company went back to the drawing board and soon realised it was one of many small independent Frozen brands that were in the same position. They reached out to other brands that shared the same ethos and planted the seed about a collaboration. The response was overwhelming, and this was when the idea of Frozenly, the UK’s first and only frozen vegan online supermarket, was born.

In under eight weeks, it had a fully functioning e-commerce website, 12 different vegan brands, and over 70 product lines. Gabe Osborne, co-founder, says: “We set ourselves a goal of having a working e-commerce shop by mid-December, ready for Christmas and Veganuary, to be honest, we didn’t think it was going to be possible but the support we received from all the other producers was what really made it happen.”

Whilst it was setting up this new venture it came across a global investment competition for plant-based companies, run by Vevolution.
“The competition closed in 24 hours but we decided to enter and managed to get together a business plan and full proposal before the deadline,” says Becky.

Frozenly reached the final of the competition, from 325 entries around the world. After a live online pitching event, it was selected as one of the winners to receive investment to allow it to kick start the new venture.

“From an idea to winning a global competition in two months just seems crazy, but it also gave a lot of validation to what we are doing,” says Gabe.

“People’s shopping habits have changed since the initial lockdown so using that to help support independent businesses, including our own, whilst keeping the shoppers safe in their own homes feels like such a big achievement.”