The vegan movement is growing in popularity around the world. More people than ever before have decided to give up animal products in favor of herbal alternatives.
According to a vegan business magazine Vegkonomist, Singapore is fast becoming a “vegan haven”, and PETA Asia has named it the second most suitable Asian city for vegans.
Nevertheless, the search for vegetarian or vegan food in Singapore can still be a tedious thing. Although vegan-tailored options in Singapore are constantly expanding, it could still be difficult for consumers to encourage these restaurants.
Vikas Garg, founder and CEO of abillion, understood these challenges. The entrepreneur grew up in a vegetarian household, and despite living in New York City, the opportunities were limited.
“Mostly I have a lot of dairy products, pizzas, things like that. It has always been a challenge to go to restaurants and have to ask questions about food. It became even more challenging when I became vegan, ”Vikas said.
He decided to start a vegan diet after realizing that some of the advertisements surrounding the health benefits of including dairy products in someone’s diet may not be as true as he thought.
Furthermore, it was also around the time he got his dog, and the emotional bond he created with his pet made him think more deeply about the impact so that becoming a vegan could be more beneficial to the environment.
Possible launch decision abillion therefore he felt natural because he wanted to create a platform that would help people make an easy and natural transition to making more sustainable food choices.
Review of vegan dishes from around the world
Earlier abillionveg, abillion is a user-driven platform that encourages people to share reviews of vegan dishes or products, with the ultimate goal of using user content to create an ecosystem for plant movement.
In January 2017, Vikas made the decision to give up his corporate role and launched abillionveg a few months later. Prior to that, he enrolled in a coding bootcamp because he thought it would be useful to understand the basics of how the platform works.
He then chased the two best students in the same bootcamp, and the three of them set out to create an initial website that was launched in November 2017.
In addition to a platform to share reviews of vegan food and restaurants, abillion has grown to become an ecosystem of over 350,000 users from over 140 countries.
The team has changed its brand from abillionveg to abillion to suit its growing community.
Today, 65 percent of its members are omnivores and flexitors, and the team sees greater diversity in its audience. The common denominator is their interest in sustainability.
“We have realized that we are not only serving the vegan community, but the global community of conscious consumers, and we are rapidly evolving to serve them better,” Vikas said.
The team creates a community of holistically conscious consumers who strive for sustainability in all aspects of their lives, be it in beauty, fitness, retail and general life.
Since 2018, abillion has raised $ 7 million in funds. Of the $ 7 million, $ 2 million was collected in the seed circle, breaking records as the largest seed circle for a plant start-up that year in Singapore.
The startup is currently undergoing Serie A funding with the goal of raising $ 10 million to $ 15 million by the end of July.
Transforming social media into a social good
For each review published, abillion lends $ 1 to its members who can donate to nearly 70 of the world’s most influential organizations leading efforts to preserve, educate, and change their diet.
According to Vikas, this helps users establish a link between lifestyle choices and the impact they have on the world.
He also helped the team build its core base of dedicated abilio members, as well as naturally increase the amount it donates based on this growth.
To date, the platform has recorded over 700,000 food reviews and 100,000 brand reviews, and more than $ 500,000 has been donated to good causes.
In addition to food, users can also find vegan products such as hair and skin products, which allows other vegan fans to leave reviews. This allows affiliate users to perform a more precise search.
Vikas told the Vulcan Post that abillion has “the world’s most valuable and unique set of consumer data for sustainability,” stemming from its 700,000 reviews.
A startup can then use this own set of data to help investors, manufacturers, distributors and retailers identify market gaps and growth opportunities in a socially responsible wave of consumption.
It is also the first company to launch awards for plant products and dishes based on real consumer data and preferences.
“We are not telling the public that something is first based on the opinion of a small council of celebrity judges; we award someone a first place prize based on thousands of points based on feedback from real members, ”Vikas said.
The vegan market is large and growing rapidly
According to Vikas, 2020 marked a “seismic shift in the conscious mindset of Singaporean consumers”, which was shown by Increase the number of users by 2.5 times applications in Singapore. Over 4,000 reviews of vegan dishes have been published in the Singapore app alone.
As Singapore’s economy began to recover from the pandemic, and customers were allowed to visit more restaurants, a billion people saw a growing interest in plant-based dishes and alternatives among the Singaporean crowd.
With plant meat alternatives such as Tindle, Karana and Impossible Foods becoming more popular, Singapore is experiencing an emerging vegan market, and interest in plant-based diets and diets continues to grow.
Last year, abillion released its report on the 20 largest vegan cities, and Singapore was named second on the global ranking list of vegan cities. It is also one of the four major application markets.
People around the world are adopting a plant-based diet and there is an increased awareness of the environment and the personal benefits of a plant-based lifestyle. I also think the pandemic was a wake-up call in that regard – people began to see the necessity and positivity behind conscious decision-making. Platforms like Abilion have been key to this new wave and we are proud to be part of this growth to ensure a more sustainable tomorrow for all beings.
Vikas Garg, founder and CEO of abillion
Currently abillion members can publish reviews of only plant dishes and sustainable products. However, by the end of the quarter, abillion plans to provide members with the ability to post anything they want.
This includes the opportunity to discuss everything that is sustainable, share your thoughts, photos, videos, recipes, and even links to articles.
These more general posts aim to initiate sustainability talks and bring the community closer together.
With an abillion global community that catalyzes people and businesses to do what’s good for the planet, Vikas wants to be the world’s largest platform for sustainability on social media.
To help us achieve this, one of its key priorities is to continue to become a set of tools for the next generation of entrepreneurs and business owners, who prioritize plant supply.
With this in mind, they will launch Business Dashboard in the coming months. This dashboard will help business owners connect with a growing consumer awareness base.
abillion will also launch a market that will allow consumers to buy and brands to sell products directly from our platform.
“We hope that these qualities will enable members to interact with each other and encourage them to be the leading forces on the sustainable journeys of others.” Our ultimate goal with Abilion is to lead people to make social impact and sustainability a habit for everyone, ”Vikas said.
Credit for featured images: abillion