Impossible Foods, the privately held meat replacement challenger to publicly traded Beyond Meat, said it has raised roughly $500 million in its latest round of funding.
The new investment brings the company’s total haul to $1.3 billion since it was founded nearly nine years ago.
The new financing was led by Mirae Asset Global Investments, with participation from existing investors Khosla Ventures, Horizons Ventures and Temasek, the company said.
According to a statement from the company, the funding will be used to boost its manufacturing; expand its distribution in supermarkets and other retailers domestically and internationally; and speed up the commercialization of its new line of products: Impossible Sausage made from plants and Impossible Pork made from plants.
“Our mission is to replace the world’s most destructive technology — the use of animals in food production — by 2035,” said Dr. Patrick O. Brown, M.D., Ph.D., founder and CEO of Impossible Foods, in a statement. “To do that, we need to double production every year, on average, for 15 years and double down on research and innovation. The market has its ups and downs, but the global demand for food is always there, and the urgency of our mission only grows. Our investors not only believe in our mission, but they also recognize an extraordinary opportunity to invest in the platform that will transform the global food system.”
The company also said it was going to change its operational practices to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Impossible Foods instituted a mandatory work-from-home policy for workers who can telecommute (through the end of April); it also instituted restrictions on external visitors to company facilities and its co-manufacturing partners. In addition, the company said its facilities were undergoing daily sanitizing, disinfecting and deep cleaning of all workplaces to ensure hygiene and safety standards.
“With this latest round of fundraising, Impossible Foods has the resources to accelerate growth — and continue to thrive in a volatile macroeconomic environment, including the current COVID-19 pandemic,” said Impossible Foods chief financial officer, David Lee.
“Our No. 1 priority is the safety of our employees, customers and consumers,” said Brown. “And we recognize our responsibility for the welfare of our community, including the entire San Francisco Bay Area, our global supplier and customer network, millions of our customers, and billions of people who are relying on food manufacturers to produce supplies in times of need.”
As the financing closes, Burger King has committed to sell the Impossible Whopper in all of its 7,000 stores. And DoorDash has launched a dedicated “Impossible Cuisine” category to feature restaurants that offer impossible Foods items.
The sales surge Burger King experienced in 2019 forced the company to quadruple production at its manufacturing facility in Oakland, the company said.