US plant-based meat firm Impossible Foods has secured around US$500m in its latest funding round.

The California business, which manufactures the Impossible Burger, raised the money in a round led by existing investor Mirae Asset Global Investments. In April, reports emerged suggesting Impossible Foods was preparing for a flotation next year.

Citing IRI data on US dollar sales, Impossible Foods said it is the “fastest-growing plant-based meat company in retail”. The company said the cash will be used on its supply chain, product range and support its international expansion plans.

The company has now raised close to $2bn since its founding in 2011. Its previous investment rounds include a $500m round in March 2020, which was also led by Mirae Asset Global Investments, followed by an additional $200m round in August 2020 led by US investment manager Coatue. Other investors have included Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Google Ventures, Horizons Ventures, UBS and Temasek.

Impossible Foods chief financial officer David Borecky said: “We’re fortunate to have great investors who believe in our long-term mission. 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.”

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

Impossible Foods, which recently added Meatballs Made From Plants to an Impossible-branded product range which also includes Sausage Made From Plants and Chicken Nuggets Made From Plants, has entered four new international markets over the past 14 months. Its products are now sold in markets including Canada, the United Arab Emirates, Australia and New Zealand.

The company has also recently entered into tie-ups with food brands and foodservice providers, including pasta business Buitoni.

Impossible Foods’ fundraising news may be seen as a counterbalance to negative headlines surrounding the North American plant-based meat category over the last few weeks.

At the start of November, Canadian meat group Maple Leaf Foods said it was reviewing its plant-based alt-meat business after a third quarter of declining sales while, less than two weeks later, Beyond Burger maker Beyond Meat released Q3 financials which revealed its net sales in the US were down by 14%.