Impossible Foods raises $500M, bringing its lifetime funding to more than $2B


Dive Brief:

  • Impossible Foods closed a $500 million funding round, bringing its lifetime funding to more than $2 billion. This latest round was led by Mirae Asset Global Investments. Other participants were existing investors, the company said in a statement.
  • The funding will help Impossible Foods continue to grow in the U.S. and internationally, the company said. It will used to expand retail growth through its supply chain, product portfolio and technology platforms, which the company said will help it achieve its mission of addressing the threat of climate change caused by animal agriculture.
  • This is the first significant funding round for Impossible Foods this year. The company received a total of $700 million in two separate rounds in 2020: $500 million in March — also led by Mirae — and $200 million in August.

Dive Insight:

As other plant-based meat brands report sales slowdowns and missed earnings targets, Impossible Foods is delivering some good news for the sector. The company is still well capitalized, growing and has more global expansion in its sights.

Impossible Foods says it is now the fastest-growing plant-based meat company in retail. It cited IRI data showing its growth outpaced that of the next 10 leading plant-based meat companies combined, when looking at dollar sales for the most recent 13-week period compared to a year before.

The company certainly has had a big year, with several product launches and expansions. In August, Impossible Sausage — a product the company made available in foodservice last year — hit grocery store shelves. Impossible Chicken Nuggets — the company’s first chicken analog product — became available in foodservice and at grocery stores in September. Impossible Pork, which debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2020, hit foodservice in October. And Impossible Meatballs, which are made from a blend of the company’s plant-based burgers and sausage, are debuting in stores this month.

Impossible’s products are currently available in about 22,000 grocery stores and 40,000 restaurants worldwide. On top of all of that, Impossible Foods received CN labels for its Impossible Burgers and Impossible Sausage this summer, making it easier for school systems to choose those products for cafeteria meals.

And these are just the U.S. launches. Since September 2020, Impossible Foods has expanded internationally into Canada, the United Arab Emirates, and Australia and New Zealand just this month. CEO Pat Brown said he hopes to also expand Impossible Foods into Europe — a process complicated by the company’s signature GMO soy leghemoglobin ingredient, which brings a distinct meaty flavor to its burgers. The company applied to the European Union for approval of its plant-based heme in 2019.

While Impossible Foods is continuing its global expansion, there are quite a few things that the funding could be going toward. Last October, Brown started a push to double the size of Impossible Foods’ R&D department by hiring 100 career scientists and engineers to work for the company. At the same virtual press conference, the company showed off a prototype of Impossible Milk, and it has also confirmed it is working on prototypes of plant-based steak, fish and eggs.

This massive fundraising may also put the rumors that Impossible Foods is looking to go public to rest — at least for a little while. In April, Reuters reported the company was looking at either a traditional IPO or merging with a special purpose acquisition company, either of which may value Impossible Foods at $10 billion or more. At the virtual Food Tech Congress conference earlier this month, Brown said Impossible Foods will eventually go public because it’s important for people who aren’t billionaires to be able to invest in it. But, he said, the company isn’t even close to announcing its IPO.

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