Impossible Foods hires former Apple creative director Steve Turner, who helped launch some of the tech giant’s most iconic products

Impossible Foods
Impossible Foods creates plant-based meat products.

  • Impossible Foods has hired former Apple creative director Steve Turner to oversee marketing.
  • Turner worked at Apple for 11 years, often alongside Apple cofounder Steve Jobs.
  • The plant-based burger startup plans to go public within a year, sources told Reuters.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Plant-based burger company Impossible Foods has hired Steve Turner from Apple, where he was global executive creative director.

Turner is now Impossible Foods’ chief experience officer, a new role, and will lead the company’s marketing.

He worked at Apple for 11 years, often alongside Apple founder Steve Jobs on some of the company’s most iconic tech, including the iPod and iPhone.

Turner now reports to the CEO and founder of Impossible Foods, Dr Pat Brown. He would oversee all aspects of the startup’s marketing and customer experience, Impossible Foods said.

Turner joins amid reports that the company is exploring options to go public through an IPO, or by merging with a blank-check company, in the next 12 months. It could be valued at $10 billion if it went public, sources told Reuters last week.

Founded in 2011, the company manufactures soy-based burgers and sausages, emitting less carbon than in animal agriculture. It was valued at $4 billion at its last private funding round in March 2020.

Competitor Beyond Meat has a market cap of more than $8 billion, with shares trading more than 400% higher than its 2019 IPO price.

In 2020, Impossible got its flagship product, the Impossible Burger, into 2,100 Walmart stores. Its burgers are also sold in Kroger, Trader Joe’s, and Stop and Shop.

The company is currently searching for a new global headquarters in the San Francisco Bay Area to accommodate its expanding team, having doubled its headcount last year.

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The Impossible Burger’s creator could go public at a $10 billion valuation, report says

Impossible Foods
  • Popular plant-based meat maker Impossible Foods is exploring going public at a $10 billion valuation, sources told Reuters.
  • The California-based company is considering a public listing via an IPO or SPAC, Reuters reported.
  • Shares in rival Beyond Meat are trading 400% higher than its IPO price in 2019.
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Impossible Foods, the startup behind wildly popular vegan burgers, is exploring a public listing that could give the company a valuation of $10 billion, Reuters reported on Thursday.

At its last funding round in March 2020, the plant-based meat company was valued at $4 billion.

Impossible is now weighing options between going public via an initial public offering or a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company, Reuters said, citing sources. This could happen within a span of the next 12 months.

Financial advisers have been approached to help manage discussions with SPACs that have already extended offers at a lucrative valuation, sources told Reuters. The SPAC route could diminish the positions of existing shareholders more substantially compared to an IPO.

Impossible Foods was founded by CEO Pat Brown in 2011 when he was on a sabbatical from teaching biochemistry at Stanford University’s medical school. Brown previously told Insider he wished he gained an understanding of the meat industry earlier in his career, so he could’ve launched Impossible Foods sooner.

The company is backed by venture capitalists Khosla Ventures and Horizons Ventures, and more than a dozen superstar investors ranging from pop icon Katy Perry to tennis champion Serena Williams and rapper Jay-Z.

Shares in rival plant-based company Beyond Meat are trading more than 400% higher above its public debut price in 2019.

Several private companies are eager to be acquired by SPACs after a surge in popularity within the space last year. More than $98 billion has been raised across 306 SPAC IPOs so far in 2021, surpassing last year’s record of $83 billion, according to data from SPACInsider.com.

Many of these companies may be unaware of the legal implications of not fully understanding the disclosures they can and can’t make when going public. For this reason, the Securities and Exchange Commission has warned SPAC dealmakers of the risks and governance issues related with raising capital through blank-check firms.

Impossible didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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