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

Mae Love
May 15, 2019

Founded in 2011 by former pediatrician and Stanford biochemistry professor Dr. Patrick O. Brown, Impossible Foods" plant-based burger may be the second greatest invention by a Doc Brown since the "80s. The Impossible Foods 2.0 recipe reportedly minimises the two biggest problems with such products - flavour and texture.

Similar to Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, other large chains have also taken an interest within the plant-based meat industry. The startup makes meat from plants, for the planet and your tastebuds. Impossible Foods now supplies meatless products to more than 7,200 restaurants in the United States and for the first time last month, the company expanded into Hong Kong.

The company's goal is to eliminate the need for animals in the food chain by 2035. 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.

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. "In April, Burger King announced plans to add the Impossible Whopper to menus nationwide by the end of 2019, putting Impossible Foods in 7,200 additional locations", Taylor reports. And given the success of Beyond Meat's public offering earlier this year, Impossible Foods has a benchmark it can reference to illustrate the appetite institutional investors have for meat replacement companies.

In addition to his startup, Brown is also the co-founder of Lyrical Foods - the make of Kite Hill nut-milk-based cheeses and yogurts.

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Plant-based meat and synthetic meat grown from cultures are seen as important technologies for feeding the world's growing middle class and fighting the erosion of natural habitat.

The new wave of investments are part of Impossible's fifth equity funding round.

Joining Li, Hong Kong's richest businessman, in the Series E funding list are technology titans and USA celebrities, including pop singer Katy Perry, comedian Trevor Noah, singer will.i.am and rapper/businessman Jay-Z.

Star athletes including Serena Williams, NFL quarterback Kirk Cousins and National Basketball Association star Paul George have also opened their wallets.

Meat substitutes are a super-hot area right now as people try their products in increasing numbers, attracted by the healthier credentials and lower impact on the environment - and Beyond Meat's share price reflects this popularity as its share price has nearly tripled since its flotation a couple of weeks ago. The market for alternative meats could reach $5.81 billion by 2022, according to Grand View Research study. It's competitor Beyond Meat sells to both restaurants and stores and recently went public.

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