Temasek-backed Impossible Foods craves more funding, said to seek $1b valuation

Photo: Impossible Foods

Impossible Foods, a California-based startup that makes plant-based burger patties that taste like beef, is on the fundraising trail again after partnering with Burger King for a veggie Whopper burger.

A US SEC Form D filing dated March 27 shows that Impossible Foods, which has already launched its Impossible Burger in Singapore, is planning to raise an undisclosed amount. It has so far raised $387.5 million over seven funding rounds.

The filing did not specify the amount that Impossible Foods seeks to raise and the timeline for the fundraising.

A Financial Times report on Tuesday said that the firm is seeking a billion-dollar valuation with its latest funding round and is likely to raise $75 million from existing backer Temasek Holdings.

In April last year, Temasek co-led a $114-million convertible note financing round for Impossible Foods. The round was co-led by Shanghai- and Hong Kong-based private equity firm Sailing Capital.

In a boost to Impossible Foods’ efforts to go mainstream, the startup has partnered with Burger King for a test run of Impossible Whopper, a veggie version of the popular burger using patties from Impossible Foods. The plant-based patties are produced with a genetically modified yeast.

Started in 2011, Impossible Foods, the most well funded of clean food startups, uses a blend of soy protein, potato protein, coconut oil, and sunflower oil, among other ingredients to make its famous meatless, juicy burgers.

A molecule called heme is responsible for the burgers’ bloodiness and meat-like cravability.

“The Impossible Burger is produced without hormones, antibiotics, cholesterol or artificial flavors. It uses about 75 per cent less water, generates about 87 per cent fewer greenhouse gases, and requires around 95 per cent less land than conventional ground beef from cows,” the company said.

Since its inception, the startup has attracted prominent investors, including Temasek, Bill Gates, UBS, and Hong Kong-based Horizons Ventures.

The startup’s original venture capital backer was Khosla Ventures, which provided seed funding and invested in multiple subsequent financing rounds.

Lab meat companies have been attracting global investors recently due to the food demand forecast in the coming years.

According to the Population Institute, world food production will need to rise by 70 per cent if the global population reaches 9.1 billion, as forecast, by 2050. And, current trends of food production will not be sufficient to meet the projected global food demand by then.

Also Read:

Temasek co-leads $114m investment in Asia-bound Impossible Foods

Singapore’s Temasek leads $75m in Impossible Foods