Impossible Foods raises US$300mil in Series E funding to accelerate scaleup

Galtero Lara
May 15, 2019

"We believe in self-reliance".

Impossible Foods said the Impossible Burger is now sold in more than 7,000 restaurants on two continents.

"We have cracked the molecular code for meat and built an industry leading intellectual-property portfolio and brand", said David Lee, Impossible Foods' chief financial officer.

But despite the steady stream of funding from investors and the unprecedented demand for his products, Brown's life outside Impossible Foods doesn't appear to have changed all that much in the past eight years. Also on the list are Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and his wife, tennis star Serena Williams, NFL star player Kirk Cousins, music producer Jay Brown and food television show host Phil Rosenthal. Beyond shares listed at US$25 and closed trading on Monday 13 May at US$69.50, meaning the market values that company at nearly US$4 billion.

"I think their (Beyond Meat) IPO indicates that retail investors along with retail consumers are ready for something better than the meat they've been eating for decades", Lee said. And given the success of Beyond Meat's public offering earlier this year, Impossible Foods has a benchmark it can reference to illustrate the appetite institutional investors have for meat replacement companies. The patty for that burger is reportedly being made by Nestle.

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Ingredients in their burgers include wheat, soy and potato proteins.

Impossible Foods' burgers are already at a number of smaller chains and in St Louis Burger Kings, and are scheduled to roll out through US Burger King locations through 2019.

Since January, Impossible Foods has recorded intense growth in every sales category in which it does business - independent restaurants, large restaurant chains such as White Castle and Qdoba, and non-commercial outlets such as theme parks, museums, stadiums, and college campuses. Lee declined to give a more specific timetable or identify those partners but said the company is actively talking with "top grocery chains in the nation". Impossible Foods launched in Hong Kong and Macau past year.

"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. "First things first, we have to deliver for our existing customers", Impossible Foods CEO Pat Brown tells Roy when he's asked what will happen if McDonald's "comes knocking".

Impossible is working to add a second production line at its California plant to meet demand, and wants to make the meat substitute available in stores soon.

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