USA – Impossible Foods, one of the leading startups in the alternative protein sector, has raised approximately US$500m in its most recent funding round that was led by existing investor Mirae Asset Global with participation from other Impossible Foods investors.
The recent funding round brings the company’s total funding since it was founded in 2011 to nearly $2 billion makes the Beyond Meat Inc rival the most well-funded and richly valued plant-based burger startup in the United States.
Impossible Foods said that the money from the round will fund its continued growth in retail and across its supply chain, product portfolio, technology platforms, and international expansion plans.
During the past 14 months, Impossible Foods entered four new international markets, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Arab Emirates.
Mirae has been critical in Impossible Food’s expansion journey having helped raise US$500 million in funding back in March 2020. This was followed by an additional US$200 million raised in August 2020 that was led by Coatue.
“Mirae Asset is excited to double down on the team at Impossible Foods as they continue transforming the global food system,” said Thomas Park, president of Mirae Asset Global Investments (US).
“It is important to us to partner with true innovators like Impossible Foods’ CEO Pat Brown and support the entire Impossible Foods team as they work to solve one of the most critical challenges facing our planet — climate change.”
New products introduced by Impossible Foods during the past four months include Impossible Sausage, Impossible Chicken Nuggets, Impossible Pork, and Impossible Meatballs.
The funding announcement comes at a time when the retail sales of fresh and frozen plant-based meat alternatives are decelerating.
Both Maple Leaf Foods, Inc., and Beyond Meat cited the deceleration in recent quarterly earnings calls with the former announcing plans to reassess its plant-based protein investments made in the last few years.
As other companies reassess their option, Impossible Foods is relentless in its efforts and has its eyes focused on bringing its meatless burgers and chicken nuggets “everywhere” including China.
What is keeping the company from setting foot in the world’s largest pork market is regulatory approvals that are yet to be given by the government in Beijing.
“Welcoming us in is the biggest thing [China] can do to improve their food security,” says Pat Brown, CEO and founder of Impossible Foods.
Expanding and producing Impossible products in mainland China would make the world’s largest pork consumer less dependent on imports and reduce emissions, he argues.
Reuters reported a few months ago, citing background sources, that Impossible was weighing an IPO or SPAC listing within the next year that could value the startup at US$10 billion.
Brown confirmed those plans saying that going public was inevitable for Impossible foods. “At some point, we will go public,” Brown said, “but not any specified time in the future.”
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