Vegan Kind, the UK’s first vegan subscription box company, has been sold in a pre-pack administration deal to its current owner, Kind World Ltd.
The deal secures the future of the business and all 38 jobs. Vegan Kind was founded in 2013 by husband and wife team, Scott McCulloch and Customer Delia McCabe, as an online vegan retailer selling ethical and cruelty-free products.
The company grew rapidly and in 2015 launched the UK’s first monthly vegan subscription box, which proved popular with customers looking for new vegan products to try.
With over 30,000 boxes shipped to date, the business has continued to grow and now has a turnover of over £1 million.
Interpath Advisory acted as administrators
Alistair McAlinden and Blair Nimmo from Interpath Advisory were appointed on 11 October 2022 as joint administrators of the struggling e-commerce business. Following their appointment, the business and its assets were sold immediately.
Companies House filings show Lillie SPV is controlled by Literacy Capital, which was the majority owner of The Vegan Kind. Former Holland & Barrett boss Tony Buffin, who joined The Vegan Kind as chairman in February, is also listed as a director of Lillie SPV. Buffin, who works with Lit Cap on a number of its other investments, was brought in to help professionalise The Vegan Kind.
All 38 of the business’s staff transferred to the new owners under the terms of the transaction, in addition to “key management and assets”, according to Interpath.
UK’s largest online supermarket dedicated to plant-based products
Established in 2013 by Scott and Karris McCulloch, who launched TVK from their two-bed flat in Glasgow, the business is the UK’s largest online supermarket dedicated solely to plant-based products, servicing thousands of customers through a next-day delivery model nationwide.
In April 2021, TVK raised £3.5 million in Series A funding from Literacy Capital Plc (which, according to The Grocer, controls Lillie SPV), and in a release in June, co-founders Scott and Karris McCullough announced the investment company as majority shareholder in the business.
The couple stepped down with immediate effect as CEO and managing director, but remained minority shareholders. Scott stated he would remain on the board as a non-exec director and that until September 2022 would work with TVK and its new CEO Sarah Boddy, who took over on 13 June, to ‘ensure a smooth transition’.
It offers more than 5,000 plant-based products, in addition to monthly vegan beauty and food subscription boxes.
What went wrong?
During the coronavirus pandemic, TVK invested in other business avenues, after achieving revenues of £7.5 million. This included investing in infrastructure and moving to a new warehouse. As lockdown restrictions were lifted, revenues were not as good and infrastructure costs rose which as a result led to cash flow challenges.
To respond, the directors of the company had sought new investment to keep the business operations running, but this was unsuccessful.
Read more: Vegan Kind Sold
With over three decades of experience in the business and turnaround sector, Steve Jones is one of the founders of Business Insolvency Helpline. With specialist knowledge of Insolvency, Liquidations, Administration, Pre-packs, CVA, MVL, Restructuring Advice and Company investment.