Impossible Foods leads growing appetite for plant-based meat

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

A-list celebs help pump $300M in funding into Impossible Foods

Impossible Foods announced it has raised US$300 million (S$410.5 million) in its latest Series E funding round, led by existing investors Temasek and Horizon Ventures.

"The fundraising underscores the growing appeal in plant-based food that tries to taste like meat with fewer environmental or health risks". According to Reuters, the eight-year-old company may now be valued at $2 billion.

The round brings the total funding raised for the California-based startup to more than $750 million. Last month, Impossible Foods' partnered with Burger King to introduce the Impossible Whopper in select markets and now the chain intends to offer the burger in all 7,200 of the fast food chain's locations by the end of the year.

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. The two companies are offering burgers they say have the same taste and texture as beef.

"Impossible Foods has just brought in the largest fund-raising round for a plant-based meat company in history", said Executive Director Bruce Friedrich of Good Food Institute, a nonprofit that promotes plant-based meat and other products.

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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". The company is adding a third shift and a second full line of production to help increase its capacity this year. "Impossible and Beyond both have a vision of a meat market that puts healthier and more sustainable products in front of consumers". Please see the Impossible Foods' job site to learn about a wide variety of openings.

"Being ready to go public is a priority for the company because we need to be operating at the highest level of rigor", Impossible Foods' Chief Financial Officer David Lee told Reuters.

The company has recorded 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 since January 2019.

America's largest "better burger" franchise, Red Robin, launched the Impossible Burger last month at almost 500 restaurants nationwide. Sales across the continent are rising, according to the company, in restaurants across Hong Kong, Singapore and Macau.

In addition to an increasing number of restaurants that sell the Impossible Burger, chefs are expanding the number of items made from the plant-based meat, with average per-store volume increasing.

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