Former Manchester United footballer Chris Smalling has become an investor in plant-based meat company Heura.
Smalling, who switched to a vegan diet five years ago, is understood to have invested a six-figure sum in the Spanish brand.
“Backing from a top athlete like Chris further bolsters Heura’s nutritional credentials, which are second to none,” said Heura co-founder Marc Coloma.
“We are thrilled to have Chris on board and look forward to working towards a plant-based future together – one which is better for our planet and our health.”
Heura this week raised €4m in less than 24 hours with an equity crowdfunding campaign on investment platform Crowdcube.
The company, which uses extra-virgin olive oil and has a high protein to calorie ratio, has also received backing from V Capital and New Crop Capital.
This is Smalling’s latest investment in the vegan and health-related industries.
He has previously invested in Ananas Anam, a company that makes textiles out of pineapple leaves, Virtue Drinks, a London start-up that produces sugar-free and zero-calorie beverages, and THIS, which makes “hyper-realistic” plant-based food.
The 31-year-old, who now plays for Roma in Italy’s Serie A, followed his wife in converting to a vegan diet.
“Once I knew the facts it was hard to ignore,” he told Forbes in 2019.
“I guess I realised my tastebuds weren’t more important than the pain of all of these animals and the future of the planet.”