The company behind the 'bleeding' meatless burger alternative has now raised $257 million, with investors including Bill Gates and Google Ventures.
How much would you pay for a hamburger that tastes like the real thing but isn’t actually made from meat, thus alleviating many of the environmental, ethical and health concerns that come with being a carnivore? If you said $257 million, I’d say you’re the kind of person who’s willing to splurge, but you’ve also hit the number right on the head.
Impossible Foods, the Redwood City, California-based company behind the meat-free Impossible Burger (touted for its ability to “bleed” just like real beef), just announced it had closed another financing round, adding an additional $75 million to its coffers, bringing total investment in the business that launched in 2011 to $257 million. Among others, the latest round of investors includes Bill Gates who joins previous high profile stakeholders like Google Ventures. Needless to say, the brand is no longer simply under pressure to make a tasty vegan burger, but to sell a lot of them.
Rachel Konrad, Impossible Food’s chief communications officer, defended her company’s need for plenty of capital, explaining that Impossible Foods has ambitions far beyond its current scope of supplying meat-free burgers to a handful of restaurants. The brand is thinking globally… as in literally every single person on planet Earth. “The reason Impossible Foods exists is to satisfy the world's voracious craving for meat in a way that's sustainable and scalable for nine billion people by 2050,” she told FoodNavigator-USA. “That's a huge task that requires a lot of R&D and investment. But if we accomplish our goal, we will have a huge positive impact on the environment and be a successful business.” Also worth noting is that though ground beef is the brand’s current focus, Impossible Foods says that other meats like chicken, pork and fish are planned moving forward.
The company also has competition in the non-meat meat space, as Beyond Meat's Beyond Burger rolls out in 600 Kroger stores this summer.
The ambitious goal of serving nine billion people starts with scalability, and Impossible Foods is about to take its first major step, planning to open its first commercial-scale manufacturing facility in Oakland by March of next year. In the meantime, if you want to taste the future right now, we put together a list of the 40 restaurants in 16 cities that are current serving the famous “bleeding” patty.