Lewis Hamilton may not have had much success on the track in Formula 1 lately, but the Mercedes driver is still celebrating after his vegan food chain reached a valuation of $100million.
Hamilton remains without an F1 victory since the penultimate round of the 2021 campaign as a result of Mercedes’ struggles under the ground effect regulations and has just one podium finish to show from the first six rounds of the new season.
However, business is booming for the 38-year-old after his Neat Burger venture, launched in 2019, surpassed the milestone valuation.
Having established a footing with eight locations in London, Neat Burger opened its first venue outside of the United Kingdom in April at a venue in New York.
According to a Financial Times report, that move has paid dividends with the company now valued in excess of $100m.
It read: “The chain, which is backed by British racing driver Lewis Hamilton, raised $18m from new investors including boutique bank LionTree and Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, as part of a series B round led by B-Flexion, the family office of Swiss billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli.”
The report adds that Neat Burger’s worth has grown by an impressive 40 per cent over the last two years.
The news of Neat Burger’s success comes despite the chain’s co-founder, Zack Bishti, claiming that diners have become tired of vegan food due to the number of poor-quality plant-based options on the market as companies attempt to capitalise on the craze.
“You get one shot,” Bishti told the Telegraph.
“There’s some people that have been diehard meat eaters their whole life, and they’re open to it. But very often, they’ll have a bad experience and then they’ll write it off for a long time.”
He added: “Every big company in the game had some sort of board meeting and they were like ‘OK, right, we need to go big on plant-based.’
“They just launched 1,001 products. And I think consumers saw fatigue.”
Meanwhile, Hamilton was linked with another big payday at last weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix with multiple reports indicating that Ferrari are preparing an offer worth £40million to tempt the seven-time World Champion to Maranello for 2024.
Despite it being claimed that Ferrari president John Elkann is in “close contact” with the 38-year-old and plans to partner him with Charles Leclerc next season, both Hamilton and Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur denied a move is in the offing in Monte Carlo.
Having first joined Mercedes from McLaren in 2013, Hamilton insisted a deal to extend his contract with the eight-time Constructors’ Champions is “almost” done.