Vegan fast food chain Neat Burger has raised $18m in its Series B funding round to expand its US footprint.

The funding round was led by a private institutional investment firm B-Flexion, founded by Ernesto Bertarelli.

Bertarelli said: “I love how Neat Burger is on a mission to make plant-based eating more accessible to everyone. Our generation is paving the way and driving this change, with research showing once Gen-Z adopts a vegan or flexitarian diet, 70% stick with it.

“So, the key is getting people to try it and integrate it into their daily lives. First impressions count and Neat Burger’s approach, combining fun and sustainability, has the potential to change the world.”

Neat Burger, which is backed by Lewis Hamilton and Leonardo DiCaprio, will use the funding to open new locations across the US.

Last month, the fast food chain opened its first location in Nolita, New York.

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The chain also plans to open new outlets overseas, including in Italy and the Middle East.

In October 2022, Neat Burger opened its first franchise in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Neat Burger co-founder Tommaso Chiabra said: “We are thrilled to have reached this major milestone in Neat Burger’s journey with a successful fundraise from previous investors alongside an impressive group of new investors.

“This is a pivotal moment for our business and it allows us to accelerate our growth plans.

“With the successful launch of our New York location and record first quarter under our belt, we have demonstrated the strength of our brand and are now well-positioned to bring our award-winning plant-based food to the growing number of consumers in the US and worldwide who are embracing a healthier and more flexitarian lifestyle.”