Food tech startup’s $114 million convertible note brings total investments to nearly $400 million.
Impossible Foods announced today the successful closing of about $114 million in convertible note financing.
The food technology startup has raised approximately $214 million in the past 18 months for a total venture funding of about $396 million since the company’s founding, according to documents filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
Started in 2011 by Stanford biochemistry professor and former pediatrician Dr. Patrick O. Brown, Impossible Foods makes meat directly from plants — with a much smaller environmental footprint than meat from animals. The company uses modern science and technology to create wholesome food, restore natural ecosystems and feed a growing population sustainably.
Impossible Foods’ flagship product, the Impossible Burger, is made through a simple combination of plant-based ingredients. In only a handful of premium restaurants one year ago, the award-winning Impossible Burger is now in more than 1,000 restaurants from Hawaii to Maine, with more mainstream outlets coming every week.
The company’s newest investors include Temasek and Sailing Capital. Temasek is an investment company headquartered in Singapore with a portfolio covering a broad spectrum of sectors including telecommunications, media and technology, financial services, transportation, consumer products, life sciences, energy, agriculture and biotech. Sailing Capital is a Shanghai- and Hong Kong-based global private equity firm that invests in market-leading companies across a range of sectors including healthcare, technology and consumer goods.
Open Philanthropy Project, Temasek, Bill Gates and Horizons Ventures have invested in multiple rounds of funding. Early investors include Google Ventures, UBS and Viking Global Investors.
The startup’s original venture capital backer was Khosla Ventures, which provided seed funding and invested in multiple subsequent financing rounds. Khosla Ventures shares Impossible Food’s mission to eliminate the need for animal agriculture, which currently occupies nearly half of the planet’s arable land and consumes 25% of global freshwater.
“Our world-class investors enable us to ramp up rapidly and accomplish our urgent mission,” said Impossible Foods’ CEO and Founder Dr. Patrick O. Brown. “We are proud of the progress we’ve made — but frankly there are still millions of restaurants and billions of people who want meat. We won’t stop until the global food system is truly sustainable.”
Impossible Foods began ramping up its first large-scale production facility in September 2017. As the factory scaled up, the number of restaurants selling the Impossible Burger increased quickly, to more than 1,000 restaurants today.
With demand still outstripping supply, the company plans to add a second shift at its factory in Oakland, Calif., this spring. As a direct result of its rapid growth in demand, all of the financing from the past 18 months — about half the total investment raised — is convertible debt, according to SEC filings. The company currently expects this financing can convert to stock based on a higher future valuation of the company.
“We are growing so rapidly that we don’t want to narrowly define our valuation today,” said Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operations Officer David Lee.
Impossible Foods will announce availability in additional mainstream American restaurants later this month. After that, the company will launch in Asia. Asia drives 44% of the world’s demand for meat and the rate of consumption is growing faster than any other region.