Impossible Foods Raises $200 Million In New Round Led By Coatue

By Annie Baker ● Aug 19, 2020
  • Impossible Foods announced it has raised $200 million in a new round of funding led by Coatue. These are the details.

Impossible Foods announced it has raised $200 million in a new round of funding led by Coatue. Including this round of funding, the food-tech company has raised around $1.5 billion since it was founded in 2011. Existing investors like Mirae Asset Global Investments and Temasek as well as new investor XN also contributed to the Series G round of funding

With this round of funding, Impossible Foods will expand its research and development programs, accelerate its manufacturing scaleup, increase its retail presence and its availability in key international markets, and accelerate commercialization and development of next-generation plant-based products, such as Impossible Pork Made From Plants, milk, steak, and other foods.

Impossible Foods previously raised a $500 million Series F round, which was announced in the middle of March. That was one of the largest investment rounds for a food tech startup and it was oversubscribed due to excess demand from investors.

Along with blue-chip institutional investors, Impossible Foods’ existing individual investors also include Jay Brown, Common, Kirk Cousins, Paul George, Peter Jackson, Jay-Z, Mindy Kaling, Trevor Noah, Alexis Ohanian, Kal Penn, Katy Perry, Questlove, Ruby Rose, Phil Rosenthal, Jaden Smith, Serena Williams, will.i.am and Zedd.

The Series G funding round closely follows the launch of Impossible Sausage, the first all-new product from Impossible Foods since the 2016 launch of Impossible Burger. Following a debut at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show in January, Impossible Sausage became available in more than 22,000 restaurants in just six months.

Burger King had become the first restaurant to roll out Impossible Sausage in June when it launched the Impossible Croissan’wich in all 7,500 locations in the United States. And a week later, Starbucks launched the Impossible Breakfast Sandwich in all 15,000 Starbucks nationwide. 

Impossible Sausage also went on sale to all restaurants in the United States via major foodservice distributors, starting with 30 of the top-rated diners in the country.

And the latest investment round also comes amid blistering demand for the company’s flagship product, the award-winning Impossible Burger — particularly in grocery stores. And Impossible Foods accelerated its retail rollout in response to tremendous demand from consumers and grocery stores as Americans radically shifted their food-purchasing behavior due to COVID-19.

Impossible Burger made its grocery store debut in September 2019. And at one grocery store in Southern California, Impossible Burger outsold all brands of ground beef from cows. Plus it outsold the next most popular single product by 6 times.

As of March, Impossible Burger was on store shelves in only 150 grocery stores nationwide. And now it is available in over 8,000 grocery stores across all 50 states, including Walmart, Kroger, Trader Joe’s and more — which is a more than 60x increase in Impossible Foods’ retail footprint in the past six months. And as of June, Impossible Foods debuted its direct-to-consumer e-commerce site with two-day delivery in the continental United States.

Customer satisfaction has been very high: about 95% of online customers say they are likely to purchase via the e-commerce channel again. And at least 75% of buyers report having tried Impossible Burger previously in restaurants, including Burger King, White Castle, and Red Robin.

The food tech company has dramatically increased its production capacity to support surging demand. And with a robust plant-based supply chain, the company has experienced no disruptions to its manufacturing operations during COVID-19 and achieved new production milestones month over month.

Impossible Burger is known for having as much protein and bioavailable iron as a comparable serving of ground beef from cows. For example, a 4-ounce serving of Impossible Burger has 0 mg cholesterol, 14 g of total fat, 8 g of saturated fat and 240 calories (A conventional 4-ounce “80/20” patty from cows has 80 mg cholesterol, 23 g of total fat, 9 g of saturated fat and 290 calories).

Impossible Burger contains no animal hormones or antibiotics, and is kosher, halal, and gluten-free certified. And since it is made from plants and bioengineered, it uses 96% less land, 87% less water, and 89% fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional beef from cows.

Impossible Burger is also available at thousands of restaurants and grocery stores in the United States and Asia, including Burger King, Red Robin, Qdoba, Hard Rock Cafe, Walmart, Trader Joe’s, Safeway, Kroger, etc.

KEY QUOTES:

“The use of animals to make food is the most destructive technology on Earth, a leading driver of climate change and the primary cause of a catastrophic global collapse of wildlife populations and biodiversity. Impossible Foods’ mission is to replace that archaic system by making the most delicious, nutritious and sustainable meats in the world, directly from plants. To do that, Impossible Foods needs to sustain our exponential growth in production and sales, and invest significantly in R&D. Our investors believe in our mission to transform the global food system — and they recognize an extraordinary economic opportunity.”

– Dr. Patrick O. Brown, M.D., Ph.D., CEO and Founder of Impossible Foods

“2020 has been a year of explosive growth for us, but this is just the beginning. We plan to create plant-based upgrades for every major category of animal-derived food products. This investment will allow us to continue to develop and commercialize the technology that will enable that transformation.”

– Impossible Foods CFO David Lee