Impossible Foods raises $500M in new funding, says it can 'thrive' in coronavirus pandemic

Funding comes as coronavirus outbreak crushes restaurants and boosts grocery stores

Plant-based meat producer Impossible Foods has raised around $500 million in its latest funding round.

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The Redwood City, California-based food-tech startup that makes alternative meat products using a molecule called heme that makes food look, taste and bleed like real beef or pork, announced Monday its latest series F funding round led by new investor South Korea's Mirae Asset Global Investments.

Impossible Foods raised $500 million in its latest round of funding. (Impossible).

Impossible said the new investment will go toward accelerating its manufacturing and scale helping it to expand its retail presence in more international markets and increase supply of newer products like its plant-based Impossible Sausage and Impossible Pork.

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The funding news comes with the widening coronavirus pandemic resulting in school closures and businesses like restaurants, bars and gyms to shutter in an attempt to contain virus from spreading. What's more, grocery store shelves have become increasingly empty as Americans stock up.

"With this latest round of fundraising, Impossible Foods has the resources to accelerate growth -- and continue to thrive in a volatile macroeconomic environment, including the current COVID-19 pandemic."

- Impossible Foods’ Chief Financial Officer David Lee 

"With this latest round of fundraising, Impossible Foods has the resources to accelerate growth -- and continue to thrive in a volatile macroeconomic environment, including the current COVID-19 pandemic," Impossible Foods' Chief Financial Officer David Lee said in a statement.

Impossible Foods has raised $1.3 billion in funding, including its latest round. Other investors include Horizons Ventures, Khosla Ventures and Temasek.

And the $5 billion market for plant-based foods has grown increasingly competitive as larger food companies like Kellogg's, Nestle and Tyson roll out their own versions of plant-based meat at lower price points. As a result, Impossible Foods lowered its wholesale prices by 15 percent. And its competitor Beyond Meat told analysts earlier this month it wants to have at least one of its products comparably priced to real meat by 2024.

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BYNDBEYOND MEAT INC.66.12-4.98-7.00%
TYSONn.a.n.a.n.a.n.a.
KKELLOGG59.47+0.71+1.21%
NSRGYNESTLÉ SA102.44-0.06-0.06%

The mainstream demand for alternative meat menu items continues to climb. Burger King's Impossible Whopper is sold at more than 7,000 locations across the country and third-party delivery service DoorDash launched an Impossible Cuisine food category highlighting other Impossible menu offerings. Meanwhile, McDonald's tested a Beyond patty in Canada last month.

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A number of other U.S. chain restaurants have also implemented meatless foods including Starbucks, YUM Brands-owned KFC, Del Taco and White Castle.

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