Since Impossible Foods released its groundbreaking plant-based burger in 2016, the pioneering vegan protein company has facilitated some of the biggest leaps for the plant-based industry. Following years of sustainable innovation, Impossible just announced that it secured another $500 million during its latest funding round, nearing an unprecedented $2 billion in total investments. The company claims that this investment solidifies its place as the fastest-growing plant-based meat company in the alternative protein sector.

Mirae Asset Fund Services – a South Korea-based investment firm – led the latest investment round. The firm’s participation in Impossible’s investment round follows its recent announcement that it plans to allocate 5 trillion won (approximately $4 billion) to the US market. Mirae previously led another $500 million investment round for Impossible in March 2020, which was closely followed by a $200 million funding package led by Coatue. Mirae’s involvement aims to maintain Impossible’s place at the forefront of the sustainable meat industry.

“Mirae Asset is excited to double down on the team at Impossible Foods as they continue transforming the global food system,” President of Mirae Asset Global Investments Thomas Park said. “It is important to us to partner with true innovators like Impossible Foods’ CEO Pat Brown and supports the entire Impossible Foods team as they work to solve one of the most critical challenges facing our planet — climate change.”

Impossible’s rapid growth coincides with a quickly-growing alternative protein market: The brand broke ground in the plant-based sector, creating a vegan burger patty that replicates the taste and texture of traditional burgers closer than ever before. Now, the brand is continuing to innovate as the market expands across all market sectors. A report from projects that the global alternative protein market is expected to reach $27 billion by 2027 with an 11 percent CAGR.

Another indicator of the plant-based protein market’s growth is the steady stream of investments in Impossible Foods, allowing the company to expand its product portfolio and better its recipes. Several other companies including Beyond Meat and Future have started developing plant-based meats, but Impossible aims to cross the entire market. The plant-based giant intends to use the surge in investment to develop plant-based alternatives across every animal-based food category by 2035.

“We’re fortunate to have great investors who believe in our long-term mission,” Impossible Foods’ Chief Financial Officer David Borecky said. “The latest round of funding allows us to further accelerate our product innovation and global expansion efforts as we continue to leverage the power of the food system to satisfy consumers and fight climate change.”

Currently, the company offers five signature products including its inaugural Impossible Burgers, the Impossible Sausage, Impossible Pork, Impossible Nuggets, and its newest Impossible Meatballs. The company’s plant-based pork alternative is still unavailable for retail purchase. Over recent months, the company has accelerated its distribution and development efforts, increasing its retail presence and rolling out Impossible Nuggets at fast-food businesses including Burger King.

Impossible’s mission is founded on creating a plant-based alternative that is more sustainable than meat while maintaining tastes and textures that consumers love. The company claims that the Impossible Burger production requires 96 percent less land, reduces water usage by 87 percent, and produces 89 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions when compared to animal agriculture.

Animal agriculture is positioned in the spotlight regarding the climate crisis as mounting evidence positions the industry as a top contributor to the global issue. A recent report in Nature Food found that meat production is responsible for approximately 57 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, making companies such as Impossible more important than ever.

“The emissions are at the higher end of what we expected, it was a little bit of a surprise,”  Climate Scientist at the University of Illinois and co-author Atul Jain wrote in the report. “This study shows the entire cycle of the food production system, and policymakers may want to use the results to think about how to control greenhouse gas emissions.”

Impossible’s position at the forefront of the alternative protein industry is only slated to keep rising. A research report from the FAIRR Initiative found that the alternative protein market could potentially surpass the global animal-based protein market, accounting for 64 percent of total protein sales worldwide. The report explains how the last couple of years signify that consumers want healthier, animal-free, and sustainable protein options, helping Impossible solidify its position in the industry.

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