In this episode I interview Alon Hochberg, co-founder and CEO of Billion Vegans, an online marketplace that is aiming to be the ‘Amazon for vegans’.
Born and raised in Israel, Alon is a serial high-tech entrepreneur and angel investor who has founded five companies over the past 25 years.
He started his first business Modus in 1995 and funded it by himself with a second mortgage. It was one of the first companies in the world that developed an enterprise-grade Customer Relationship Management application. Alon sold the business three years later to the largest system integrator in Israel.
In February 2017, after accidently seeing a short video about the dog-eating festival in China, Alon immediately went vegan.
After spending several months replacing all his food, clothes, cosmetics and dog supplies, reading the fine print on every product, and contacting the vendors for more information, he bought a pair of ‘vegan’ shoes on Amazon.
When they arrived, he found out the glue was made of pigs’ bones and decided then and there to start Billion Vegans to provide an online marketplace selling only vegan-certified products.
The site launched in July 2018 in the US, with plans for international expansion into 2019 and beyond.
In this interview Alon discusses:
• Some of the key challenges facing startups, particularly in the tech space
• The two crucial things every startup needs for success
• Why ‘passion’ can sometimes kill a startup
• How he turned his perceived limitations into strengths that he’s used to build companies
• How he managed to raise $60 million over the years for his various companies, including a VC fund
• How Billion Vegans is different to other online vegan stores and the benefits to business owners of listing their products on the platform
• Why he chose a mix of private investment and equity crowdfunding to fund Billion Vegans and how those who invest in the WeFunder campaign will get their rewards
• And much more.
Visit the Billion Vegans online marketplace
Find out more about the Billion Vegans equity crowdfunding campaign on WeFunder
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Vegan Business Media is a multi-media, multi-author blog for aspiring and existing owners of vegan-run businesses, designed to equip them with the information, tools, inspiration and resources they need to start and grow their enterprises. It is hosted by award-winning journalist Katrina Fox.