Plant-based burger startup Impossible Foods has raised a whopping $US300 million ($432.7 million) in Series E funding, with celebrity investors including Jay-Z, Katy Perry, Serena Williams and will.i.am taking a bite of the action.
The fifth equity funding round since its launch in 2011values Impossible Foods at $2 billion, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Last month, Burger King began a pilot of its Impossible Whopper, a meatless burger made with Impossible Foods' plant-engineered meat the burger chain plans to roll-out across its 7,200 USA stores by end of year. 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. We all know that some of the foods we grow and eat have impact on the environment. Its flagship product, the award-winning Impossible Burger, continues unprecedented sales surge, with strong growth among small restaurants as well as new customers including Burger King, Red Robin and Qdoba.
"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.
Impossible Foods has enjoyed high-profile successes in the past year. The company is adding a third shift and a second full line of production to help increase its capacity this year.
"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.
The burgers don't come cheap: a typical Impossible-filled burger goes for more than $US12, compared with around US$7 for premium beef mince.
The presence of Impossible Foods' Asian investors point to the hunger for protein replacements on the continent where the quality of meat is an issue and rising demand is putting increasing pressure on companies looking to feed the continent's newly wealthy consumers more high-quality protein. However, the burger already launched within restaurants back in 2016.
Since its founding, Impossible Foods intentionally designed a robust supply chain that is scalable, with products sourced from abundant plant crops.
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. In Asia, the Impossible Burger is sold in a wide range of restaurants throughout Hong Kong, Singapore, and Macau.