March 16, 2020 / 6:38 AM / 12 days ago

UPDATE 2-Impossible Foods raises $500 mln at nearly $4 bln valuation - source

(Adds valuation information from source, certificate of incorporation; updates Beyond Meat share price)

By Jane Lanhee Lee

SAN FRANCISCO, March 16 (Reuters) - Plant-based meat company Impossible Foods said on Monday it raised about $500 million in its latest series F funding round, which was led by South Korea's Mirae Asset Global Investments, a new investor.

According to a source familiar with the deal, the post-money valuation now approaches $4 billion. Reuters reported in November that the company was aiming to more than double the $2 billion valuation it attained in its May funding round. (reut.rs/38UwzHd)

According to Impossible Foods' certificate of incorporation filed in Delaware on Friday, the original issue price of the series F shares are $15.4139. Series E, the previous round, was issued at $10.6038.

The funding announcement comes as the novel coronavirus outbreak hits hard, with schools in many states closing and consumers emptying shelves at grocery stores. Top venture capital firm Sequoia recently called it a "black swan" event and urged its start-ups to be careful with cash.

"Whatever the headlines are, we have the means to withstand short-term shocks and realize our long-term mission," Impossible Foods Chief Financial Officer David Lee said.

The latest round brings the total raised by the Redwood City, California-based company to $1.3 billion. Other investors in this round include Khosla Ventures, Horizons Ventures and Temasek.

Plant-based meat and lab-grown meat companies have been gaining traction with many consumers becoming more aware of the environmental impact of industrial animal husbandry.

Rival Beyond Meat Inc surged last year as it went public, and recently had traded at three times its initial public offering price in May. But the shares dropped on Monday, along with the broader market slump, pulling Beyond Meat's market capitalization to under $4 billion.

Lee declined to discuss when Impossible Foods could go public. He said the latest funds will help the company expand its manufacturing capacity. In addition to its plant-based burger patties, Impossible Foods also launched plant-based sausages and pork earlier this year. (Reporting by Jane Lanhee Lee in San Francisco; additional reporting by Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru and Joshua Franklin in New York; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Dan Grebler)

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