Reading Time: < 1 minute The pro footballer has also invested in plant-based meat brand THIS Credit: Instagram
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Vegan footballer Chris Smalling has invested a six-figure sum in Virtue Drinks. 

The London-based company creates ‘clean’ energy drinks that are ‘all-natural, with zero sugar or calories’. 

It has two ranges available: Virtue Clean Energy and Virtue Yerba Mate, and is exporting to leading retailers in 30 different countries.

‘High aspirations’

Rahi Daneshmand launched Virtue Drinks in 2016. In a statement sent to PBN, he said: “We have very high aspirations, with plans to bring Virtue to every store where you might find traditional energy drink brands.

“Each can of Virtue gives customers the same amount of natural caffeine as the leading energy drink or coffee, without any sacrifice on taste and none of the artificial chemicals.”

Chris Smalling’s investments

This is not the first time the vegan footballer has invested in a startup.

Last year, the ex Manchester United player invested in plant-based meat brand THIS.

The company – which sells a range of ‘hyper-realistic’ alternatives to bacon and chicken in stores including Tesco and Waitrose – has raised £3.5m following the launch of a Seedrs crowdfunding campaign.

Andy Shovel is Co-Founder of THIS. He said: “Pete and I can scarcely believe how quickly the Seedrs campaign has been building momentum. I haven’t clicked ‘refresh’ this often since my online dating days. 

“We’re truly honored that so many people have deemed THIS to be worthy of their investment; we’ll keep over-working and aging abnormally fast, in the hope that we make them a massive return.”

Smalling added: “I’ve been really impressed with what Andy and Pete have achieved in such a short time. They’ve created a killer brand with amazing products. Thrilled to be part of their journey.”

Liam Giliver

Liam is the former Deputy Editor of Plant Based News. He has written for The Independent, Huffington Post, Attitude Magazine, and more. He is also the author of 'We're Worried About Him'.