What Do Jay-Z, Trevor Noah, Katy Perry and Serena Williams Have in Common?
They’re all among the impressive roster of A-list celebs investing in the meat-free Impossible Burger.
Are Jay-Z, Trevor Noah, Katy Perry and Serena Williams betting against beef? They are just a few of the A-list celebs who have plunked down moolah to back plant-based burger upstart Impossible Foods, which just announced a $300 million funding round.
Other big-name individual investors to toss there money in with blue-chip institutions to help make possible Impossible Foods’ quest for meaty-without-the-meat burger domination include Jay-Z’s Roc Nation business partner Jay Brown, NFL star Kirk Cousins, pro basketball player Paul George, Reddit founder and Williams’ husband Alexis Ohanian, actor Kal Penn, actress Ruby Rose, musician and music journalist Questlove, TV writer and producer Phil Rosenthal, celebrity progeny/rapper/etc. Jaden Smith, musician/actor/etc. will.i.am and producer/DJ/etc. Zedd.
Some of the investing celebs are vegan and so presumably have a personal interest spreading the gospel and availability of a plant-based burger, but yeah, that’s kind of an insane investor list. Then again, the Impossible Burger’s rise has been kind of insane, too.
Since “the next-generation Impossible Burger” made its debut in January 2019, it has spread its non-meat meatiness everywhere from independent restaurants to big chains like White Castle, Qdoba, Red Robin and soon Burger King, which announced recently that it would take the Impossible Whopper it had been testing in 59 St. Louis locations nationwide to more than 7,200 locations by the end of 2019. (Impossible Foods was founded in 2011 by a Stanford University biochemistry professor, and restaurants started carrying previous versions of Impossible Burgers in 2016.)
Already available in more than 7,000 restaurants across two continents (it’s big in Asia), the Impossible Burger is also available in theme parks, museums, stadiums and college campuses and is headed soon to retail outlets as well.
“We have cracked the molecular code for meat and built an industry-leading intellectual property portfolio and brand,” David Lee, Impossible Foods’ chief financial officer, said in a news release about the new, star-studded round of funding, which brings total investment in the company to $750 million. “Our global financial partners are supporting a technology powerhouse that will transform the global food system.”
Given the fact that another plant-based meat alternative, Beyond Meat, has seen its stock surge almost 250 percent in the two weeks since its IPO and has just been dubbed “the most successful IPO of 2019 so far,” it seems like there is definitely a growing taste for meat that isn’t meat.
So I guess if the sports or entertainment careers of the aforementioned list of superstars start to fizzle, there may well be the sizzle of faux meat to fall back on.