Bill Gates-Backed Vegan Burger Maker Beyond Meat Files for IPOBy
Beyond Meat Inc., the maker of vegan chicken and beef substitutes including the Beyond Burger, filed for a U.S. initial public offering.
The company filed with an initial offering size of $100 million, which is a placeholder that’s likely to change. The company’s backers include Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates and Don Thompson, McDonald’s Corp.’s former chief executive officer.
Beyond Meat, based in El Segundo, California, was founded in 2009 and initially focused on a frozen-chicken substitute and has taken advantage of vegan diet preferences to go more mainstream. Now, it’s best known for the Beyond Burger, which is made to “look, cook and taste like traditional ground beef,” according to the company’s filing Friday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Its products are sold by grocers such as Kroger and Whole Foods, as well as appearing on restaurant menus for TGI Friday’s and A&W Canada, the company said in its filing.
The company had a net loss of $30.4 million on net revenue of $32.6 million in 2017. That compares with a net loss of $25.1 million on net revenue of $16.2 million a year earlier.
Beyond Meat’s biggest backers are venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers LLC, which owns 16 percent of the company, and Obvious Ventures with 10 percent, according to the filing. After its new vegan burger was released, Tyson Foods Inc., the largest U.S. meat producer, announced it had bought a 5 percent stake in Beyond Meat.