GLOBAL – Amid a turbulent global picture due to the Covid-19 pandemic, companies with promising ideas have continued to attract big investments in 2020.

Some raised their huge ticket funding’s from private equity and institutional investors while others tapped into the stock market to raise funds.

Food Business Africa takes a look back at some of 2020’s major funding stories that sent shock waves in the food industry.

Impossible Foods receives US$500m in Series F funding round

As the plant-based market has boomed, the meat alternatives sector has attracted the support of investors in 2020, as witnessed by Impossible Foods’ approximately US$500 million funding round announced in March.

The Series F round was followed less than six months later by a further US$200 million raise.

2020 also saw the company launch its first new product since the Impossible Burger debuted in 2016.

Impossible Foods said that it planned to use the funds from both rounds to accelerate its manufacturing scale-up, expand its retail presence and international availability, and support research and innovation.

Zomato raises US$660m in a primary financing round

The Covid-19 period led to a unprecedented rise in the use of e-commerce and food delivery platforms as consumers avoided physical stores in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus.

With demand for e-commerce services rising, investment in food-tech companies such as Zomato became attractive to many investors.

At the end of 2020, the India based food-tech company announced that it had raised US$600 million in a primary financing round, giving the company a valuation of US$3.9 billion.

According to a report by Deal Street Asa, the fundraiser saw 10 investors join Zomato including Tiger Global, Kora, Luxor, Fidelity (FMR), D1 Capital, Baillie Gifford, Mirae, and Steadview.

Second tranche brings Perfect Day’s Series C funding to $300m

This year has also been fruitful for alternative protein fermentation companies, which attracted a record US$435 million in investment during the first seven months of 2020 alone, according to The Good Food Institute.

This included the fermentation industry’s largest ever raise, Perfect Day’s US$300 million expanded Series C round.

The company later confirmed that it had secured an additional investment bringing the round to US$400 million.

Since being founded in 2014, Perfect Day has been developing and scaling a method for producing functional protein through the fermentation of microflora.

Califia Farms raises $225m to expand its plant-based platform

In January, plant-based beverage maker Califia Farms announced that it had secured US$225 million in what it said was one of the largest private capital raisings within the natural foods sector.

The Series D financing was led by the Qatar Investment Authority, with other investors including Temasek, Claridge and Green Monday Ventures.

The California-based company planned to use the funds to build on the success of its oat platform, as well as to launch other product lines.

Califia also said that the new capital would allow it to invest in increased production capacity, research and development, and continued global expansion.

Burger King India’s Share Debut Becomes Biggest Since 2017

As noted above, some food companies went the stock market route, and of the many that raised funds through this option, Burger King India was the most notable.

The company which has franchisee agreement with Restaurant Brands International Inc. that allows it to use the Burger King brand in India until Dec. 31, 2039 raised over US$110m million in the IPO that was launched in December 2020.

In just four days of its listing, the company’s share price surged 65.25 per cent over the issue price making it one of the most successful IPOs to be ever listed on India’s BSE.

Mrs Bectors Food raises over US$73m in successful IPO listing

Still in India and remaining on the stock market, our focus shifts to Mrs Bectors, a leading supplier of bread and biscuits in India is reported to have raised over US$73 million a few hours after its IPO went live in the Indian stock Market.

According to a report by India’s Mint, Mrs Bector Food’s IPO comprised of a fresh issue of equity shares worth ₹40.54 crore (about US$5.5 million) and an offer for sale (OFS) by some private equity players worth ₹500 crore (about US$67.9 million).

The funds raised through the IPO will be utilised for brown-field expansion of its Rajpura manufacturing unit and also in establishing a new production line.

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