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Crowned by Burger King, meat replacement company Impossible Foods raises $300 million

15 May 2019

As a further sign of its increasing popularity, Impossible Foods revealed on Monday that it had just raised $300 million in the latest round of funding.

High-tech veggie burgers that taste and feel like meat have become all the rage in recent months as restaurants scramble to get the plant-based foods on their menus.

After Beyond Meat's IPO, Impossible Foods said that it does not have any plans to rush an IPO any time soon.

Last month, Burger King began a pilot of its Impossible Whopper, a meatless burger made with Impossible Foods' plant-engineered meat the burger chain plans to roll-out across its 7,200 US stores by end of year. Enter, Impossible Foods, a vegan startup that's making meatless burgers a little less impossible.

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"We don't lead with the source of guilt that meat eaters have globally". 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 USA restaurants at the end of 2019.

"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". And given the success of Beyond Meat's public offering earlier this year, Impossible Foods has a benchmark it can reference to illustrate the appetite institutional investors have for meat replacement companies.

The burgers don't come cheap: a typical Impossible-filled burger goes for more than $US12, compared with around US$7 for premium beef mince.

Impossible Foods was launched in 2011 and is a Silicon Valley-based company that makes meat and dairy products from plants - with a much smaller environmental footprint than meat from animals.

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The company 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 since January 2019. However, the burger already launched within restaurants back in 2016. In Asia, the burger is sold in various restaurants in Hong Kong, Singapore and Macau.

Indeed, even corporate America has taken notice, with Tyson Foods hatching plans to bring its own meat replacement product to market in the coming years. The 59-unit regional test of the Impossible Whopper at Burger King restaurants in St. Louis has gone exceedingly well; the Miami-based restaurant chain intends to bring the Impossible Whopper to all 7,200 USA restaurants at the end of 2019.

Impossible is working to add a second production line at its California plant to meet demand, and wants to make the meat substitute available in stores soon.

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Crowned by Burger King, meat replacement company Impossible Foods raises $300 million