New Ecommerce Marketplace Positions Self as More Trustworthy for Vegans than Amazon

Randy Hofbauer
Digital and Technology Editor
Billion Vegans already offers 4,500-plus products from 200 sellers

A new ecommerce marketplace positioning itself as "Amazon for vegans" has hit the scene in the United States and soon will be shipping groceries and more to Canadian consumers.

Founded by serial technology entrepreneurs Alon Hochberg and Amir Lavi, Los Angeles-based Billion Vegans already offers more than 4,500 products from 200 sellers. Onboarded in May, products include high-profile plant-based brands such as Daiya, Silk, Earth Balance, Clif, Deva and Beauty Without Cruelty.

According to Hochberg, vegan-centric ecommerce in the United States alone has a potential value of $30 billion, based on annual ecommerce sales of about $500 billion, 6 percent of which comprises vegan-related products. The number of Americans who identify as vegan also is on the rise, hitting 6 percent in 2017, up five points from 2014, according to a 2017 report by research firm Global Data.

And trustworthy vegan products are in demand: About 20 percent of the company's potential customers have stated that purchasing products on a site where all offerings are vegan is their top priority, according to research made by Hochberg and his team. But from Hochberg's experience, not all sites and brands are so trustworthy. He claimed that after becoming a vegan, he purchased a pair of "vegan" shoes from Amazon, only to find out its glue was made from pig bones.

"That was the day I decided to start Billion Vegans," he stated. "All products on our site are vetted by our team to make sure they are actually vegan."

So far, Billion Vegans has raised $300,000 in pre-seed private investing, and also recently opened an equity crowdfunding round on WeFunder. CEO Hochberg and CPO Lavi both have been involved in a number of technology-based ventures since the mid-1990s.

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