Impossible Foods receives $300m in Series E funding round

Impossible Burger creator raises US$300m in Series E round led by Temasek, Horizon Ventures

The round brings the total funding raised for the California-based startup to more than $750 million.

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.

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

Impossible Foods has become pretty popular offering meatless, plant-based meals and now the company is attracting high-profile celebs to invest in the company.

Joining Li, Hong Kong's richest businessman, in the Series E funding list are technology titans and U.S. celebrities, including pop singer Katy Perry, comedian Trevor Noah, singer and rapper/businessman Jay-Z.

Star athletes including Serena Williams have also opened their wallets. "But we are not in a rush, nor are we announcing an IPO filing". The maker of the Beyond Burger went public last week at a market capitalization of $1.5 billion, but is now valued at over $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. A genetically modified yeast creates the key ingredient, called heme, which makes the patties appear to be bloody and juicy and taste like real meat unlike conventional veggie burgers.

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.

While Impossible now only sells to restaurants, the company plans to target retailers with its plant-based protein later this year.

Even more celebrities like Philly's own Questlove of The Roots has jumped on the Impossible Foods bandwagon with the launch of "Questlove's Cheesesteak".

"Sales of plant-based products grew by more than 17% previous year, according to Nielsen, while other grocery products only grew by 2%", CNBC's Aditi Roy reports. The market for alternative meats could reach $5.81 billion by 2022, according to Grand View Research study.

Tyson Foods, the largest meat processor in the United States, will roll out meatless protein products in the coming months while McDonald's began selling vegan burgers in Germany. We all know that some of the foods we grow and eat have impact on the environment.

In an interview with the South China Morning Post, Lee said Impossible Foods would focus on expansion in Asia, where about half the world's meat demand is based.



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