With ‘unicorn’ companies Uber, Pinterest and Airbnb all preparing to flood their companies with some much-needed cash, yet another high-profile business – Beyond Meat – is preparing to float on the stock market.
Beyond Meat, the vegan food company which went viral last year for creating the ‘Impossible Burger’ – a meatless classic hamburger that tastes and bleeds like real meat- is set to go public within the next few weeks when it floats on the New York Stock Exchange.
It is just the latest in a series of high-risk, low-return ventures that have turned to selling their shares to generate increased revenue for their companies.
Beyond Meat, a plant-based alternative start-up which started in El Segundo, California in 2009, has attracted media attention first in 2013 when they created the first completely vegan ‘chicken’.
The company was financially backed by a high-profile Silicon Valley financier and even has backing from tech mogul Bill Gates and actor Leonardo DiCaprio. The company, which prides itself on making completely vegan food that gives the illusion of meat to the consumer, was valued this week at $1.2bn, a not unsubstantial figure for a relatively small company.
But, the company is not alone in its market.
With environmentalists, experts and politicians openly warning about the dangers of climate change, many are recommending we turn to a plant-based diet to curb our carbon footprint.
While Beyond Meat’s work may have gone viral, they’re closely competing with Impossible Foods, who just a few weeks ago launched a major new product with fast-food chain Burger King- the meatless Whopper.
Even other fast food chains – including McDonalds and Taco Bell – are investing in meatless alternatives to their best-selling items.
Like their fellow unicorns, Beyond Meat is spending more money than they could ever make. In 2018, despite a net revenue of $88m, the company still lost $30m.
Their products are available in 30,000 outlets internationally and are looking to grow into new markets and develop new items. With the increased popularity of veganism and similar plant-based diets, investors might be quick to hop onto this new trend while it’s hot – the pay off could be huge.