All over the world, the vegan movement has been growing in popularity. More people who never choose to abandon animal products in favor of plant alternatives.
According to the vegan business magazine Vegconomist, Singapore is fast becoming a “haven for vegans” and was named the second most vegan Asian city by PETA Asia.
Despite this, looking for vegetarian or vegan food options in Singapore can still be a tiring affair. While vegetarian options in Singapore are constantly expanding, consumers may have difficulty resolving these restaurants.
Vikas Garg, founder and CEO of abillion, understood these challenges. The businessman grew up in a vegetarian home and, despite living in New York City, the options were limited.
“I mostly have a lot of dairy products, pizza, things like that. It was always a challenge to go to restaurants and have to ask questions about food. It was even harder when I became a vegan, ”said Vikas.
He had made the decision to embark on a vegan diet after realizing that some of the advertisements related to the health benefits of incorporating dairy into the diet were perhaps not as truthful as he had thought.
In addition, it was also around the time she got her dog and the emotional connection she maintained with her pet made her think more deeply about how the impact of becoming vegan can be more beneficial to the environment.
The final decision to launch abillion therefore, it felt natural, as it wanted to create a platform that would help people make an easy, natural transition to more sustainable food decision-making.
Review of vegan dishes from around the world
Previously 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-generated content to create an ecosystem for plant movement.
Vikas made the decision to resign from his corporate position in January 2017 and launched abillionveg a few months later. Prior to that he signed up for a coding bootcamp, as he felt it would be helpful to understand the basics of how the platform would work.
He then hunted down two of the best students from the same bootcamp and all three set about creating the initial website, which was launched in November 2017.
Beyond a platform for sharing reviews about vegan food and restaurants, Abillion has grown to become an ecosystem of more than 350,000 users in more than 140 countries.
The team changed its brand from abillionveg to abillion to cater to its growing community.
Today, 65% of its members are omnivores and flexors, and the team sees greater diversity in its audience. The common denominator, however, is their interest in sustainability.
“We have realized that we are not only serving a vegan community, but a global community of conscious consumers and that we are evolving rapidly to serve them better,” Vikas said.
The team creates a community of holistic conscious consumers who strive to be sustainable in all aspects of their lives, whether in beauty, fitness, retail and life in general.
Since 2018, abillion has raised $ 7 million in funding. Of the $ 7 million, $ 2 million was raised in its seed round, which broke records as the largest seed round for a vegetable start-up that year in Singapore.
The startup is currently going through its Series A funding with the goal of raising $ 10 million to $ 15 million by the end of July.
Turn social media into a social good
For every review published, abillion credits its members with $ 1 they can donate to about 70 of the world’s most impactful organizations leading conservation, education and diet change efforts.
According to Vikas, this helps users make a connection between their lifestyle choices and the impact they have on the world.
It has also helped the team build its core base of members dedicated to the abillion, as well as naturally scaling the amount it gives based on that growth.
So far, the platform has seen more than 700,000 comments on food and 100,000 comments on brands, with more than $ 500,000 given to good causes.
Aside from food, users can also find vegan products, such as hair and skin products, that allow other vegan enthusiasts to leave feedback. This allows many users to do a more refined search.
Vikas told Vulcan Post that Abillion has “the world’s most valuable and unique set of consumer data for sustainability,” which comes from its 700,000 reviews.
The start-up can leverage this proprietary dataset to help investors, manufacturers, distributors and retailers identify market gaps and growth opportunities in the wave of socially responsible consumption.
It is also the first company to launch awards for plant-based products and dishes based on real consumer data and preferences.
“We’re not telling the audience that something is number one in the opinion of a small group of celebrity judges; we award someone a first prize based on thousands of data points based on actual comments from members,” Vikas said. .
The vegan market is big and growing fast
According to Vikas, in 2020 there was a “seismic shift in the conscious mindset of Singapore consumers” which was shown with 2.5 times increase in users of the application in Singapore. More than 4,000 reviews of vegan dishes from the Singapore landscape alone were posted on the app.
As Singapore’s economy began to withdraw from the pandemic, and users were allowed to visit more restaurants, a growing interest in dishes and vegetable alternatives grew among the Singapore crowd.
With herbal meat alternatives such as Tindle, Karana and Impossible Foods becoming increasingly popular, Singapore is seeing an emerging vegan market and interest in nutrition and herbal diet continues to grow.
Last year, abillion released its Top 20 Vegan Cities report and Singapore was ranked second in the global ranking of vegan cities. It is also one of the four key application markets.
People around the world are adopting plant-based diets and becoming more aware of the environmental and personal benefits of a plant-based lifestyle. I also think the pandemic has been a wake-up call in this regard: people began to see the need and positivity of conscious decisions. Platforms like abillion have been instrumental in this new wave and we are proud to be a part of this growth to ensure a more sustainable tomorrow for all beings.
Vikas Garg, founder and CEO of abillion
Currently, members of an abillion can only publish reviews of herbal dishes and sustainable products. However, by the end of the quarter, Abillion plans to give members a chance to post anything they want.
This includes the opportunity to discuss anything that is sustainable, share your opinions, photos, videos, recipes, even links to articles.
These more general publications aim to initiate conversations about sustainability and bring the community closer.
Since Abillion is a global community that catalyzes people and businesses to do what’s right for the planet, Vikas wants to be the world’s largest social media sustainability platform.
To help us achieve this, one of their key priorities is to continue to become a set of tools for the next generation of entrepreneurs, who prioritize plant-based offerings.
With that in mind, it will launch a Business Dashboard in the coming months. This dashboard will help business owners relate to the growing base of conscious consumers.
abillion will also launch a marketplace that will allow consumers to buy and sell brands to sell products directly from our platform.
“We hope that these functions allow members to interact with each other and encourage them to be guiding forces in each other’s sustainable journeys. Our ultimate goal with abillion is to guide people to make social impact and sustainability a habit for to everyone, ”said Vikas.
Featured Image Credit: abillion