Impossible Foods, a four-year-old, Redwood City, Ca.-based company at work on a new generation of meats and cheeses made entirely from plants, has raised $108 million in new funding from a powerful group of backers.
Investors in the round, which was led by UBS, include Viking Global Investors and earlier backers Khosla Ventures; Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates; and Horizons Ventures, which invests on behalf of Hong Kong business magnate Li Ka-shing.
Impossible Foods was founded by Patrick Brown, who spent 25 years as a biochemistry professor at Stanford before co-founding a four-year-old Hayward, Ca.-based food company called Kite Hill that has developed numerous nut milk products that it says are healthier and more sustainable than their dairy counterparts.
Cofounded by vegan celebrity chef Tal Ronnen and cheesemaker Monte Casino, the company’s products include almond milk cheeses, ricotta, ravioli, and cream-cheese-like cheeses that are sold in Whole Foods and elsewhere.
With Impossible Foods, as with Kite Hill, Brown is reportedly looking to make foods that are not only tasty but which have no cholesterol, hormones, or antibiotics. Its flagship product: a plant-based cheeseburger.
Equally important to Brown — and to investors who are increasingly funding plant-based food companies — Impossible Foods aims to help in feeding the ballooning population of people on earth. Indeed, current forecasts estimate there will be 9.5 billion humans by 2050. In 1940, there were just three billion of us populating the globe.
Impossible Foods had reportedly raised one previous round of $75 million from investors.
It was also in talks with Google about a potential acquisition this past summer, according to the Information. According to its sources, the deal fell apart because Impossible Foods wanted more than the $200 million to $300 million it was being offered.