Coronavirus May Outweigh Tons of New Funding for Impossible Foods

March 17, 2020
The analogue meat company raised $500 million last week; reports this week say it's looking for a similarly large credit line to offset virus-related restaurant closings.

Which do we lead with? Impossible Foods raised $500 million in venture funding last week? Or the company may need a similarly large credit line to counter losses caused by closed restaurants?

This one's fact and comes straight from the company: Impossible Foods raised approximately $500 million last week in a new funding round led by new investor Mirae Asset Global Investments, with participation from existing investors including Khosla Ventures, Horizons Ventures and Temasek.

This one's speculative and comes from Reuters: The analogue meat company is discussing a new credit line worth several hundred million dollars with its lenders as the company braces for the economic fallout of the coronavirus outbreak, "people familiar with the matter" told the news service.

The coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic is forcing the closing of many restaurants and other foodservice accounts that feature the Impossible Burger and other products, and it comes at a critical ramp-up time for Impossible Foods.

Back to the official company statement: "Impossible Foods will use the funds in part to invest in fundamental research and innovation; accelerate its manufacturing scaleup; expand its retail presence and its availability in key international markets; and accelerate commercialization of next-generation products including Impossible Sausage Made From Plants and Impossible Pork Made From Plants," the company's statement said.

The company has raised nearly $1.3 billion since its founding in 2011, and some estimates put its market value somewhere between $2 billion and $4 billion.

In addition to global institutional investors, Impossible Foods' individual investors 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,, and Zedd.

The fundraising announcement included a note the disruptive food-tech startup can "continue to thrive in a volatile macroeconomic environment, including the current COVID-19 pandemic," said Chief Financial Officer David Lee.

Reuters' story acknowledged the fundraising has increased the amount of money banks are comfortable lending the company, another factor in its decision to explore the credit line, the sources said. Reuters' sources cautioned the deliberations are preliminary and will be influenced by how the coronavirus outbreak evolves over the coming weeks. Impossible Foods declined to comment to Reuters.

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