VeganNation, an Israeli startup, is set to release its new mobile app this week. The goal is to build a global vegan community where people can find vegan restaurants and stores ranging from food to fashion, health and wellness, no matter where they are. The app’s goal is to integrate social networking in the development of a sustainable online marketplace and an economy powered by a green payment method.
“We’re building a technological platform and infrastructure to unite the vegan community and conscious consumer into one ecosystem, connecting businesses and consumers from around the world to make it plant-based, sustainable, accessible and affordable,”VeganNation’s founder and chairman, Isaac Thomas, stated.
Approximately 65,000 businesses are currently listed on the app. It will first be available in Tel Aviv, Sydney, Amsterdam, Berlin, Toronto, Portland, California, and New York City, where Thomas was visiting this week.
Flower Power Herbs & Roots is one of those businesses, with seemingly every herb and oil available, stacked high in containers on metal shelves. Thomas came to a halt there, with the owner claiming that the app has the potential to demonstrate that vegans are a demographic worthy of more of the business world’s attention.
“I’m gratified to see so many people becoming vegans, and having a collective is a wonderful idea. Not that I think everybody who shops here is a vegan – I’m not even a vegan completely,”Flower Power has been owned by Lata Kennedy for nearly three decades. she stated, “But we need this collective to represent and to show the market what value we have as plant-based consumers.”
Flower Power is available on the app and accepts GreenPay, VeganNation’s digital wallet that enables in-app purchases and a loyalty rewards program. The ultimate goal is to make GreenCoin, the VeganNation currency, the official alternative currency instrument for the global plant-based community.
GreenCoin, which is set to launch at the end of November, will essentially ensure that members’ funds are always kept within VeganNation’s ecosystem. VeganNation became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sipup Corp., a development stage company that manufactures, packs, and sells flavored yogurts, two months ago. VeganNation is considering listing its cryptocurrency on Bittrex and other crypto exchanges, according to a report filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission at the time.
“By using GreenCoin as the unifying factor between consumers expecting to purchase plant-based products with their GreenCoins and merchants willing to accept GreenCoins, we believe that GreenCoin can also function as a catalyst for the aggregation of highly valuable data that can then be leveraged to provide ongoing reality checks for the standards we want to implement,” Thomas remarked.
Those requirements would be confirmed by VeganNation’s Evergreen Supply Chain Tracking and Verification System, which would work in tandem with the online marketplace to guarantee that the items and services offered for sale satisfy the plant-based/sustainable standards that would be set.
The system is designed to fully automate every step of the supply chain, from manufacturing to delivery, in order to determine whether a product or service meets the required verification requirements. VeganNation also plans to crowdsource standards within the vegan and similar ecosystems among its members and users.
For a small business owner like Kennedy, who is excited but apprehensive about the app, it’s a lot to take in.
“I think it’s a little too early to tell where the app has made a difference in our business. We probably are very popular amongst vegans already. But, I am familiar with the application and I appreciate that people will get points. I don’t understand cryptocurrency at all. I hope we still get paid,” she says laughing, “but it’s exciting.”
Later, Thomas went to The Organic Grill, one of the first organic and vegan restaurants on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, which was founded in honor of the owner’s mother, who went vegan while battling advanced lymphoma.
There is a slight variation in the Hanukkah meal. Yes, there’s brisket, but it’s seitan, a plant-based meat substitute composed completely of hydrated gluten. There are traditional latkes, as well as leek and fennel and sweet potato and leek alternatives. The applesauce, on the other hand, is sugar-free, and the sour cream is produced with sunflower seeds. There’s no schmaltz in the matza balls, either.
It’s most likely not your grandmother’s holiday meal. However, it’s only a few taps away on the VeganNation app, which will soon accept cryptocurrency payments.
“We’re in a different world now,” Kennedy added.