Impossible Foods closes $75M funding round

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Impossible Burger at Umami Burger
Impossible Foods just completed a $75 million funding round.
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Impossible Foods closed a $75 million investment that included Open Philanthropy Project, Bill Gates, Khosla Ventures and Horizon Ventures. Leading the round was Singapore-based investment company Temasek.

Impossible Foods makes meat and dairy products from plants. Availability of the company’s flagship product, the Impossible Burger, has grown at premium burger restaurant chains Umami Burger and Bareburger.

The Impossible Burger reportedly looks and tastes like conventional ground beef but is made from plant ingredients. A molecule called “heme”, which is abundant in animal muscle, gives the burger its beef-like attributes, and Impossible Foods found an affordable and scalable way to make heme using plants. The US Patent and Trademark Office recently issued US Patent No. 9,700,067 for Impossible Foods’ technology to use leghemoglobin in plant-based meat.

“Our scientists spent so much time and effort studying a single molecule — heme — because heme is what makes meat taste like meat,” said Patrick Brown, Impossible Foods CEO and founder. “It turns out that finding a sustainable way to make massive amounts of heme from plants is a critical step in solving the world’s greatest environmental threat.”

Separately, Impossible Foods plans to provide the results of a 2016 study that examined whether consumption of soy leghemoglobin in amounts orders of magnitude above normal dietary exposure would produce any adverse effects — there were none — along with additional data to the US Food and Drug Administration. The FDA publishes such data online for public viewing.

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By Dave Ellicott 8/1/2017 9:12:26 AM