Is this company the one-stop-shop for all things plant-based?

grocery shopping pandemic
(Anna Shvets/Pexels)

A neat company by the name of Vejii Holdings Ltd, just started trading on the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) last week.

Vejii is a tech company by nature, but with an ESG flare to it. Its business comes in the form of a massive online marketplace that can bring a plethora of plant-based and sustainable goods to any doorstep in the Canada or US within days. 

Its recent purchase of Vegan Essentials, a plant-based retailer that was founded in 1997, granted Vejii the title of largest plant-based online retailer in North America.

CEO of Vejii, Kory Zelickson stated: “We are thrilled to have investors welcome Vejii to the public markets. After an extensive period preparing to be publicly traded, we have successfully completed the first major step as a newly public company. We look forward to executing on the vision of the Company and to continue to make plant-based and sustainable living products widely accessible and convenient. Not only have our shareholders recognized that consumers’ demands and expectations for how products are made is changing, but they acknowledge our unique and competitive position in the industry as we leverage our technology and extraordinary customer service. We are thankful for their enthusiasm and support and look forward to providing value to our new and old investors as Vejii continues to grow.”

Vejii is constantly using technology and data from its operations to optimize performance and targeting. The purchase of Vegan Essentials comes with over two decades of consumer insight, data, and buying power. Not to mention C$3.5 million in annual revenue.

This kind of data is invaluable to a company like Vejii, who uses all this information to enhance search insights, expand its distribution network, identify product performance, collect data on customer location, and identify merger and acquisition opportunities.

Making data-driven decisions to consolidate logistics between the two main platforms will effectively increase margins and efficiencies throughout the company. These constant tweaks are crucial to scaling a business. Just ask Jeff Bezos.

By providing all of their vendors with the customer data needed to constantly improve operations and performance, Vejii is providing opportunities for every brand on their platform to grow and scale with them.

What we’re getting at here is that Vejii is primed to be seen as the Amazon of the plant-based world. They are taking reign on retailing all kinds of plant-based goods, from food, to skin care, to alcohol, and effectively making themselves the mecca for all things vegan. 

A huge part in supporting sustainable living is making it accessible to as many people as possible. What easier way to incorporate plant-based food into your diet than to have it available on your phone or mobile device, and dropped off to your door in a couple days?

There is a reason why online shopping continues to surge in popularity and is showing no signs of slowing down:

  • 45.3% of people were shopping online in March 2021, compared to 17.7% in March 2020.
  • The second largest shopping category is groceries, and 41.4% of people reported they were buying groceries online.
  • 31.9% of people were buying more health and wellness products online from March 2020 to March 2021.
  • 12.8% of people were avoiding restaurants in March 2020. This number jumped to 48.8% in March 2021.

A couple of other categories that seem to be growing with no end in sight, are the plant-based market and the ESG movement.

Sustainable practices are profitable. We are already in the midst of times where having ESG elements within your company is essential to raise quality investment capital. 

ESG stands for environmental, social and corporate governance. It encompasses fully transparent, sustainable and ethical practices, by focusing on the following areas (in a nut shell):

  • Environmental: Eco-friendly, sustainable, green energy, anything that promotes the longevity of the earth, and the beings within it.
  • Social: An ethical workplace/work culture, with good employee morale.
  • Corporate Governance: Proper bookkeeping, no shady accounting, transparent financials.

Vejii has shaped up to be a sustainable, plant-based online marketplace that encompasses ESG standards, and fits nicely into the vegan niche amongst the online retailing industry.

We all know that during the great gold rush of the 19th century, it wasn’t the avid gold miners that saw the greatest, most consistent business. It was the ones who were selling the pickaxes and shovels.

Such is why Vejii is positioned to benefit off every single company on its impressive vendor list. With Vejii providing ample opportunities for brands like Beyond Meat, Inc., The Very Good Food Co.Sol Cuisine, Nabati Global Foods, NEXE, Boosh Foods, and Plant Veda Foods to utilize the company’s data mining capabilities to maximize their own sales; it creates a consistent, mutually beneficial relationship of growth. 

Over 500 brands have access to the technology integrations that Vejii has to offer. Smart lists, reorder features, subscription programs and AI help to support vendors to maximize their business within the platform.

Leveraging its logistics infrastructure is what sets Vejii apart from any other niche retailer of its stature. Unlike many typical e-commerce platforms, Vejii connects buys and sellers directly. Vejii handles the picking, packing, and shipping for a fee.

Fulfillment gets even easier should a brand decide to take full advantage of Vejii’s distribution network. The company can manage all fulfillment services for the brand that gets the product directly to the doorstep of the end customer, similar to Amazon’s fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) service.

Vejii Express is an additional feature that enhances a customer’s experience by consolidating all of their favourite products. A vast number of products are on Vejii’s express list, which when ordered, get shipped together to the buyer from one centralized warehouse. This avoids the inconvenience of having several different packages come from different carriers and narrows shipping time down to 1-2 days.

The intricacy of Vejii’s sound business model supports a strong market opportunity for those looking to capture early-stage growth of one of the hottest new sectors to surface in today’s world.

Vejii succeeds as its vendors succeed, and with its tech strategy, it provides the tools needed for its vendors to achieve this. This mutually beneficial pipeline of growth is not unlike how Amazon grew its business to be the central retailer for books globally, before growing into a multi-trillion empire.

We all know Amazon is the mother of all online retailers, but niche online markets have a proven track record so far.

Etsy, an American e-commerce website focuses on handmade and vintage items, has a market cap of US$33.4 billion.

Gopuff, a delivery platform for food, home essentials, alcohol and snacks, has a market cap of US$15 billion.

Wayfair, an e-commerce platform exclusively focused on home goods, has a US$40.9 billion market cap.

Instacart, a multinational proprietary e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sales (POS) has a US$22.2 billion market cap.

When we see a niche online market supporting earth sustainability in the form of making plant-based living highly accessible, we start to pay attention. Pair that with the fact that Vejii’s market cap is not even close to 1% of GoPuff, the lowest valuated company on this list, our early-stage opportunity radar is going off.

The company currently sits at a modest C$21 million market capitalization, which presents a ground floor opportunity for investors in the red-hot plant-based sector.

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