South Korea’s Mirae Asset Global Investments has led the $500-million Series F funding in plant-based meat company Impossible Foods, valuing the US-headquartered food technology company at nearly $4 billion.
The announcement comes with the widening coronavirus pandemic resulting in school closures and businesses like restaurants, bars, and gyms to shutter in an attempt to contain the virus from spreading. Grocery store shelves have become increasingly empty as Americans stock up.
“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 the foodtech company’s chief financial officer David Lee.
The fresh funding will go toward accelerating the food technology company’s manufacturing and scale, helping it to expand its retail presence in more international markets and increase the supply of newer products like its plant-based Impossible Sausage and Impossible Pork.
The latest round brings the total raised by Impossible Foods to $1.3 billion. Other investors in this round include Khosla Ventures, Horizons Ventures, and Temasek.
Founded in 2011, Impossible Foods offers consumers a better choice: animal-free meat and dairy foods made directly from plants that are delicious, healthy, affordable, and use far fewer of Earth’s finite resources to produce than animal-derived foods.
The company is best known for its vegetable hamburger patties. The startup has drawn over $750 million from global investors, including Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Li Ka-shing, chairman of Cheng Kung Group in Hong Kong. The startup is expected to go public soon.
“Our mission is to replace the world’s most destructive technology–the use of animals in food production–by 2035,” CEO Patrick Brown said 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.”
The Series F equity funding round closed late last week. In addition to global institutional investors, Impossible Foods’ new and existing individual investors include Jay Brown, Common, Kirk Cousins, Paul George, Peter Jackson, Jay-Z, Mindy Kaling, Trevor Noah, Alexis Ghanian, Kal Penn, Katy Perry, Questlove, Ruby Rose, Phil Rosenthal, Jaden Smith, Serena Williams, will.i.am, and Zedd.