Plant-based egg maker Eat Just raises $200 mln in new funding round

March 23 (Reuters) - Eat Just Inc said on Tuesday it had raised $200 million in new funding that will be used to boost capacity and expand into new markets, as the plant-based egg producer looks to meet the growing demand for alternative protein products.

Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund led the funding round, with private investment firm Charlesbank Capital Partners and Microsoft Corp co-founder Paul Allen’s Vulcan Capital also pitching in.

Representatives from Qatar Investment Authority and Charlesbank will also join Eat Just’s board, the company said.

Founded in 2011, San Francisco-based Eat Just is best known for its mung bean-based egg substitute called “JUST Egg” that it currently sells in the United States.

Late last year, it received approval from Singapore to sell its lab-grown chicken meat, the world’s first regulatory approval for so-called clean meat that does not come from slaughtered animals.

The company, which counts Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing and Singapore state investor Temasek among its backers, has raised more than $650 million since 2011 and had last been valued at $1.2 billion.

Reuters reported here in August last year that the startup would consider an initial public offering, once it turns an operating profit. (Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)