Beyond Meat, backed by Microsoft and McDonald's execs, files for IPO

By Block Scientific Inc

California-based food manufacturer Beyond Meat has announced it will file for an IPO, with the company set to debut on the Nasdaq at an initial offering size of $100mn.

Beyond Meat, which is backed by both Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, and Don Thompson, former CEO of McDonalds, produces vegan meat substitutes and as such has honed in on a rapidly growing market.

The company currently enjoys backing from Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, Obvious Ventures, and Tyson Foods which owns a 5% stake.

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The company is currently most famous for its Beyond Burger, a vegan fake meat burger designed to look, feel and taste as close to meat as possible. The product is high in protein and entirely plant-based, as well as containing no soy or gluten which are common allergens.

The recipe, combined with the burger’s close likeness to beef, has made it a popular product on the shelves of major supermarkets such as Kroger. Moreover, Beyond Meat also supplies restaurants such as TGI Friday’s.

The company has stated in its IPO filing: “The success of our breakthrough innovation model and products has allowed us to appeal to a broad range of consumers, including those who typically eat animal-based meats, positioning us to compete directly in the $1.4trn global meat industry.”

It added: “Going forward, we intend to continue to invest in innovation, supply chain capabilities, manufacturing and marketing initiatives.”

Underwriters involved in the filing include Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Credit Suisse and Merill Lynch.

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