The UK's first vegan pizza chain Purezza is expanding in the UK, overseas, and into retail. | Purezza

Award-winning Purezza is growing. The vegan pizza chain’s latest funding round will help it to expand its UK presence and develop overseas markets. It will also launch its signature vegan mozzarella in the retail sector.

Purezza is the first-ever vegan pizza chain in the UK; it has four locations, in Bristol, Brighton, Camden, and Hove.

Together with investors and retailers from the Middle East, Asia, Europe, and the U.S., London holdings company MVK Group participated in the chain’s recent funding round. The company has now raised a total of £2.4 million.

“Purezza has proven to be one of the pioneers in the vegan food industry,” MVK Group’s CEO, Manish Karani, said in a statement. “We are proud to be working with them in becoming one of the leading restaurant and retail brands across the world.”

Veg Capital also took part in the funding round; the vegan investment firm aims to focus specifically on Purezza’s retail expansion.

Purezza will open an 8,000 square foot facility to help put its Italian brown rice-based mozzarella onto store shelves.

Purezza’s total funding is now at £2.4 million. | Purezza

The Purezza Vegan Cheese Experience, From Home

Tim Barclay—who co-founded and co-owns Purezza—is “delighted” to work with Veg Capital.

“This is an opportunity to enjoy the Purezza experience from home,” Barclay said in a statement sent to LIVEKINDLY. “Our plant-based mozzarella is designed to rival premium Italian buffalo mozzarella. [It gives] the same quality and flavor that people expect from a classic food, but with modern and sustainable methods of production.”

He added: “We can’t wait for people to be able to cook with it themselves.”

Veg Capital’s managing director Matthew Glover also founded UK nonprofit Veganuary. The initiative supports people to ditch animal products for one month.

He noted that when the opportunity arose to invest in Purezza’s mozzarella, Veg Capital was “very excited to get involved.” He hopes the taste of the chain’s vegan mozzarella will inspire more consumers to give up dairy-based cheese.

“Over the years of promoting Veganuary and surveying participants, it became clear to me that people find giving up cheese more difficult than meat,” Glover explained. “Creating alternatives to dairy cheese is a hugely important element to helping shift society to plant-based diets.”