Impossible Foods raises $300 million as demand for plant-based meat surges

Impossible burger

Impossible Foods is backed by Bill Gates and has won over a string of celebrity endorsements. Credit Impossible Foods

"That's where plant-based meat alternatives can step in".

Impossible Foods has enjoyed high-profile successes in the past year.

Silicon Valley's hottest new veggie burger startup, Impossible Foods, is beefing up its coffers with an additional $300 million in funding, including from A-list celebs like Katy Perry.

The firm has raised $300 million in funding, highlighting the appeal of lab-grown food that tries to taste like meat with fewer environmental or health risksImpossible Foods, which makes a meatless plant-based burger and is backed by celebrities like Serena Williams and Katy Perry, said on Monday it has raised $300 million in the latest round of funding ahead of a possible initial public offering. Since its launch, it has raised a total of more than US$750 million.

"Both Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat have produced plant-based meat substitutes based on molecular science, with cells created to mimic those of animal protein using plant nutrients". In it, Brown talks about overcoming the doubts of early skeptics (such as his wife), as well as acknowledging that it's a losing battle to convince most people that eating meat is bad. The company is adding a third shift and a second full line of production to help increase its capacity this year.

Brown launched Impossible Foods back in 2011 after giving up his dream job at the Stanford University School of Medicine where he had worked as a professor of biochemistry for two decades. "Impossible and Beyond both have a vision of a meat market that puts healthier and more sustainable products in front of consumers".

Despite encouraging signs from investors, it is not in a hurry to go public, Impossible Foods chief financial officer David Lee told Reuters.

With fresh backing, the startup is set to "transform the global food system", he said.

Since January, Impossible Foods 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. However, since it's actually driving new foot traffic to restaurants, the product's impact as a meat replacement is arguable. The burger started debuting at restaurants in 2016. The 59-unit regional test of the Impossible Whopper at Burger King restaurants in St. Louis has gone exceedingly well; the Miami-based restaurant chain intends to bring the Impossible Whopper to all 7,200 US restaurants at the end of 2019.

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.

Since launching in Singapore, sales have increased in Asia more than three-fold.

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