While the escalating coronavirus pandemic forces tens of thousands of restaurants, bars and other brick-and-mortar businesses to shutter and threatens to sink the entire U.S. economy into a recession, plant-based meat startup Impossible Foods believes that it will be one of the few that eventually survive this once-in-a-lifetime disaster.
On Monday, Impossible Foods announced it had closed a $500 million series F funding round led by Korea-based Mirae Asset Global Investments, a new investor. After the latest round, the Silicon Valley-based startup has raised a total of $1.3 billion in private funding. Previous investors include. Horizons Ventures, Khosla Ventures and Temasek.
Impossible Foods’ primary rival, Beyond Meat, has seen share price plummet in the past few days as the broader stock market craters on coronavirus fear. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the vegan meat category is doomed by the pandemic. It’s true that both Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat will inevitably see a setback from their restaurant partners as Covid-19 discourages people from eating out, but in the meantime both brands are expected to see a jump in demand for their products at grocery stores across the country.
“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 on Monday.
Impossible Foods products are available at select grocery stores in eight states and fast food chains, including Burger King, White Castle, Qdoba and Little Caesars.
The company said the new funding will be used to develop new products, such as Impossible Sausage and Impossible Pork, and expand retail presence to international markets.