Mirae Asset Global Investments Co. Ltd. has signed a share purchase agreement to invest $150 million in Impossible Foods Inc., a meat substitutes producer, as the only Korean participant in the latest funding round for the fast-growing US startup.
Mirae Asset made the investment along with three to four domestic financial investors, including its sister companies, according to investment banking sources on March 15. They declined to identify the financial investors.
Forbes reported on March 16 that Impossible Foods has raised $500 million in the latest round closed late last week and would put part of the new cash towards fighting volatility related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Mirae Asset Global Investments led the fundraising, along with the existing investors Khosla Ventures, Horizons Ventures of Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing, and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings, the report said.
With the new funding, Impossible Foods has secured more than $1.25 billion in equity financing since its inception in 2011.
In May 2019, the plant-based Impossible Burger maker raised $300 million in its fifth equity funding round led by Temasek and Horizons Ventures.
The financing valued the company at $2 billion, compared with the $1.5 billion IPO valuation for rival Beyond Meat Inc. which went public in May 2019.
Its current market cap is $4.5 billion, after rallying to just over $10 billion in mid-2019.
Last October, Impossible Foods’ founder and CEO Patrick Brown said IPO was not on its near-term roadmap, TechCrunch reported, dismissing market speculation about its public offering.
Its flagship product Impossible Burger is sold at more than 7,000 restaurants, including ones at Disney’s theme parks. Last year the company partnered with Burger King to introduce the Impossible Whopper.
Its other investors included Microsoft founder Bill Gates and celebrities like American comedian Mindy Kaling, film director Peter Jackson, tennis player Serena Williams and rapper Jay Z.
Mirae Asset Global manages 161.7 trillion won ($132 billion) in assets as of September 2019.
By Chaeyeon Kim
<Edited by Yeonhee Kim>