Vital Ingredient, the London-based tossed salad-to-go concept backed by American-Estonian real estate entrepreneur Paul Oberschneider, has secured new investment of £2.75m as it looks to take its 11-strong estate passed the 20 mark over the next 12 months. Founded by Alex Heynes in 2001, the group plans to create 150 jobs through the expansion after securing the new finance package from Santander Corporate & Commercial’s Breakthrough programme, which offered £1.25m, as well as through traditional lending. The company will open its 12th site in the capital later this month in Great Tower Street and is thought to have a number of other units under offer. The company is also looking to add a central distribution site in order to carry out more remote preparation and target smaller units. Managing director Heynes said: “We are really excited about this next stage of our development. Our continuous growth throughout the tough economic climate in recent years is testament to the resilience of our business strategy and offering, which provides busy professional Londoners with healthy eating alternatives that enable them to get good food fast. “Trying to access finance that allows you to invest in your business is hard for a company of this size. Typically investors either want to take a slice of your company, or are only offering to new ventures. Santander’s Breakthrough programme offers us a real alternative, allowing us to top-up what we could access through traditional bank finance with funding based on our future success.”