Published: Wed, May 15, 2019
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Crowned by Burger King, meat replacement company Impossible Foods raises $300 million

Crowned by Burger King, meat replacement company Impossible Foods raises $300 million

"The fundraising underscores the growing appeal in plant-based food that tries to taste like meat with fewer environmental or health risks".

Pat Brown is the 64-year-old CEO of Impossible Foods - a Silicon Valley startup that is already estimated to be worth $2 billion and is now backed by the likes of Serena Williams, Katy Perry, Bill Gates and Google.

On the faux hoofs of Beyond Meats' thunderous initial public offering a couple of weeks ago, Impossible Foods yesterday announced it has raised an additional $300 million in financing, bringing the total amount of money it has harvested since its 2011 launch to more than $750 million.

"This is the first time that a plant-based meat alternative has reached the market, and we've seen the incredible response", commented the Good Food Institute (GFI)'s managing director for Europe, Richard Parr.

The fifth equity funding round since Impossible Foods was launched in 2011 is meant to accelerate the company's rapid scaleup - including accelerated hiring and capacity expansion at the company's plant in Oakland, California.

In 2016, it released its Impossible Burger product, created to look and taste like a beef burger.

Beyond Meat's plant-based invention, The Beyond Burger, is leading the charge in the Californian company's product portfolio.

Despite encouraging signs from investors, it is not in a hurry to go public, chief financial officer David Lee told Reuters.

With fresh backing, the startup is set to "transform the global food system", he said. Beyond the eight restaurants it is partnering with, Impossible Foods made its product available to eateries in Singapore via importer and distributor Classic Fine Foods. It plans to launch the Impossible Burger in retail outlets later this year.

Impossible Burger is sold at more than 7,000 restaurants worldwide including White Castle, Qdoba and Red Robin and at Disney theme parks.

Since launching in Singapore, sales have increased in Asia more than three-fold.

America's largest "better burger" franchise, Red Robin, launched the Impossible Burger last month at almost 500 restaurants nationwide.

Indeed, even corporate America has taken notice, with Tyson Foods hatching plans to bring its own meat replacement product to market in the coming years. Sales across the continent are rising, according to the company, in restaurants across Hong Kong, Singapore and Macau.

According to New York Daily News, the brand is best known for its Impossible Burger, "which is made with soy and potato protein, coconut oil, sunflower oil, and heme, or soy leghemoglobin - a molecule that makes meat taste like meat".

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