Impossible Foods raises US$300mil in Series E funding to accelerate scaleup
By Digital News Asia May 15, 2019
- The round was led by existing investors Temasek and Horizons Ventures
- The company launched its plant-based meat in Singapore on March 6
IMPOSSIBLE Foods has announced a US$300 million (RM1.25 billion) funding round. The Series E round was led by existing investors Temasek and Horizons Ventures.
The ﬁfth equity funding round since Impossible Foods was launched in 2011 is intended to accelerate the company’s rapid scaleup -- including accelerated hiring and capacity expansion at the company’s plant in Oakland, California. In total, the food-tech startup has raised more than US$750 million (RM3.13 billion).
In addition to blue-chip institutional investors, the Series E round includes individual investors including: Jay Brown, Kirk Cousins, Paul George, JAY-Z, Trevor Noah, Alexis Ohanian, Kal Penn, Katy Perry, Questlove, Ruby Rose, Phil Rosenthal, Jaden Smith, Serena Williams, will.i.am and Zedd.
“We have cracked the molecular code for meat and built an industry-leading intellectual property portfolio and brand,” said David Lee, chief financial oﬃcer for Impossible Foods. “Our global ﬁnancial partners are supporting a technology powerhouse that will transform the global food system.”
The company launched its plant-based meat in Singapore on March 6 by partnering with eight restaurants. Beyond the eight restaurants it is partnering with, Impossible Foods made its product available to eateries in Singapore via importer and distributor Classic Fine Foods.
Since launching in Singapore, sales have increased in Asia more than three-fold. Impossible is sold in a wide range of restaurants and cuisines throughout Hong Kong, Singapore, and Macau.
The latest funding round comes amid unprecedented demand for the company’s ﬂagship product, the plant-based Impossible Burger, which debuted at American restaurants in 2016.
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.
The Impossible Burger is now sold in more than 7,000 restaurants on two continents.
America’s largest “better burger” franchise, Red Robin, launched the Impossible Burger last month at nearly 500 restaurants nationwide. Also in April, the world’s second largest burger chain, Burger King, debuted the Impossible Whopper in a regional test in St. Louis. The 59-unit regional test of the Impossible Whopper at Burger King restaurants in St. Louis has gone well; the Miami-based restaurant chain intends to bring the Impossible Whopper to all 7,200 US restaurants at the end of 2019.
In addition to an increasing number of restaurants that sell the Impossible Burger, chefs are expanding the number of items made from the plant-based meat, with average per-store volume increasing.
Impossible Foods plans to launch the Impossible Burger in retail outlets later this year.
Founded in 2011 by Stanford biochemistry professor and former pediatrician Dr. Patrick O. Brown, Impossible Foods makes meat from plants — with a much smaller environmental footprint than meat from animals.
Impossible Foods is looking to hire at least 50 new employees at its plant in Oakland, California, which already employs about 70 full-time workers. The company is adding a third shift and a second full line of production to help increase its capacity this year.
Since its founding, Impossible Foods intentionally designed a robust supply chain that is scalable, with products sourced from abundant plant crops. Impossible Foods has a long-term roadmap to exponentially expand capacity, and the Series E funding will accelerate the scaleup.
The company’s goal is to eliminate the need for animals in the food chain by 2035. To achieve continued breakout growth, Impossible Foods is actively planning to add to and diversify its manufacturing capacity.