Meatless burger firm hits €1.8bn

Impossible Foods, which makes a meatless plant-based burger and is backed by celebrities like Serena Williams and Katy Perry, said it has raised $300m (€267m) in the latest round of funding ahead of a possible initial public offering.

Meatless burger firm hits €1.8bn

Impossible Foods, which makes a meatless plant-based burger and is backed by celebrities like Serena Williams and Katy Perry, said it has raised $300m (€267m) in the latest round of funding ahead of a possible initial public offering.

The latest funding round values the firm at $2bn (€1.8bn).

The fundraising underscores the growing appeal of food that tries to taste like meat with fewer environmental or health risks.

Shares of US competitor Beyond Meat, whose shares debuted on Nasdaq earlier this month, have tripled.

The latest round for Impossible Foods brings the Silicon Valley-based startup’s total raised to more than $750m.

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

“We believe in self-reliance. Being ready to go public is a priority for the company because we need to be operating at the highest level of rigour.”

Celebrities have jumped on the investor bandwagon, including Jay-Z, Will.i.am, Jaden Smith, and Katy Perry, who recently wore a vegan burger outfit to New York’s annual Met Gala, making reference to Impossible Foods.

Athletes including Serena Williams and NBA star Paul George have also opened their wallets.

Institutional investors include Khosla Ventures, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Google Ventures, Horizons Ventures, UBS, Viking Global Investors, Temasek, Sailing Capital, and Open Philanthropy Project.

The fifth equity funding round since its launch in 2011 values Impossible Foods at $2bn, according to sources.

By comparison, Beyond Meat had a market capitalisation of just under $1.5bn in its IPO but now tops $4bn.

Mr Lee said Beyond Meat’s successful IPO did not change Impossible plans or timing to go public but was a “validation”.

Impossible launched its first faux-meat burger two years ago.

A genetically modified yeast creates the key ingredient, called heme, which makes the burger appear to be bloody and juicy and taste like real meat unlike conventional veggie burgers.

Ingredients include wheat, soy, and potato proteins.

Fast-food chain Burger King has said it will launch “Impossible Whopper”, which uses Impossible Foods’ plant-based burgers, across the US.

Reuters

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