Eat Just, Maker of Vegan JUST Eggs, is Gearing Up For $3 Billion IPO
Eat Just, maker of the plant-based egg favorite JUST Egg, is speculated to be going public at a hefty valuation of $3 billion. According to one of the company's lead investors, Eat Just is likely to go public in Q4 of this year, having grown fast enough to reach for a valuation that is fully $1 billion more than what Bloomberg estimated it was worth just last October, which was $2 billion then. Currently, the initial offering price has not been posted yet, but investors can anticipate that Eat Just will continue to strive for a bold valuation.
Last August, the company's CEO and co-founder, Josh Tetrick, discussed the potential IPO with Reuters and claimed that once the company reached operating profitability it would begin the process of filing for an IPO. The total VC investment so far into Eat Just has been $440 million, following a $220 million funding round led by Qatar Investment Authority back in May. The company sold the equivalent 100 million eggs this year, as consumers around the globe have embraced the notion of plant-based eggs. Eat Just entered China in January with a fast-food collaboration and has further plans to roll out their new plant-based chicken product.
Tetrick told Reuters last August, “The target to hit operating profitability is sometime before the end of 2021. Once we hit operating profitability, then I’ll really begin considering an IPO with my team and with my board, and with some of our major shareholders.”
While Eat Just gained recognition for its egg products in the US, the company recently secured $170 million to expand its cell-based chicken brand, Good Meat and has begun selling it at the JW Marriott, Singapore South Beach.
The company has plenty of competition, however since the cultured meat sector is beginning to grow as more companies launch protein products that are exact replicas of meat and poultry but grown in the lab. Singapore is currently the only country to approve the distribution and sale of cultured cell-based meats, which is why Eat Just launched their Good Meat in that location. Eat Just has stated through a corporate statement that positive feedback from consumers has given the company encouragement that when countries are ready to approve cell-grown protein that Good Meat will be ready to expand and gain traction.
“If I told you in 2002 that the majority of songs wouldn’t be bought, but streamed, that would sound weird. Cultivated meat will eventually be boring because it’ll be the meat everybody eats,” Tetrick said.
Tetrick said that the company intends to expand its innovative cell-based meat product, and he remains optimistic that countries throughout Asia and North America will lift some of the restrictions on cell-based meat sales. Eat Just is confident that the U.S will approve the sale of cell-based meat within the next 12 months and that China and other countries will follow.
Meat Alternatives Cultivated in the Lab Are Gaining Acceptance
The Good Food Institute reported that cultivated meat makers raised collectively $360 million last year and that the cell-based meat industry grew six times in value from 2019 to now. As both the plant-based egg market and the cultured meat industry continue to expand, Eat Just is betting that investment and profits will increase for pioneering companies in these sectors.
"Continued investment is critical to ensure that cultivated meat can meet the moment--providing a more sustainable, safe, and secure way of feeding people with far fewer greenhouse gas emissions, far less land and water required, and no contribution to antibiotic resistance and pandemic risk,” executive director of the Good Food Institute Bruce Friedrich said back in May.
Eat Just’s anticipated market debut follows IPOS by other notable plant-based food companies Oatly back in June and Beyond Meat in 2019. Both companies experienced immediate market success with record-breaking spikes in their stocks, although Beyond has been on a roller coaster for the past two years, having launched at $25, and skyrocketed to $234, it is now trading at $139 as of press time.
Whether or not Eat Just can replicate these successes will be up to the market and investors' enthusiasm for meat alternative stocks although consumer interest in plant-based foods appears to be growing across all sectors. For those who can't get enough of these kinds of investments, Impossible Foods will also go public in the coming months, with a projected valuation of $10 billion.