Bill Gates and Li Ka-shing are backing Impossible Foods

Investors including Bill Gates, Li Ka-shing and a Facebook founder are backing a new fundraising round by Impossible Foods, a Silicon Valley company that is developing plant-based alternatives to meat, starting with juicy burgers that look like beef. Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek is leading Impossible’s new $75 million round, alongside existing investors Mr Gates, Mr Li’s Horizons Ventures and Khosla Ventures. Open Philanthropy Project, a fund led by Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and his wife Cari Tuna, is also joining the round. Impossible was founded in 2011 by former Stanford University biochemistry professor Pat Brown, who wanted to find a way to improve health and reduce the environmental impact of meat without having to change people’s carnivorous cravings. Mr Brown, Impossible’s chief executive, sees soy leghemoglobin, or “heme”, as a vital ingredient to making its plant-based burgers taste like ordinary meat. It is produced using genetically modified yeast and fermentation, creating something the company claims is “identical” to what humans have eaten in meat for thousands of years… Impossible is one of several companies trying to replace traditional animal products in food, including Beyond Meat and Memphis Meats.
Tim Bradshaw