Meat substitute developer Beyond Meat, which has received backing from two corporate venturers, went public.

US-based alternative meat developer Beyond Meat, which counted among its backers food producers General Mills and Tyson Foods, floated in an IPO of roughly $241m on the Nasdaq Global Select Market. Beyond Meat issued north of 9.6 million shares, priced at $25 each, on the top of its price range. It is also noteworthy that the company had upped the price range of its offering from $21-$23 per share, set initially, to $23-$25. General Mills committed capital through its strategic investment arm, 301, and so did meat producer Tyson Foods. The latter investor, however, had already exited before the IPO. Tyson held a 6.6% stake but had to divest its shares reportedly because of friction at the time of Tyson’s announcement that it will develop its own meat-free products.

Founded in 2009, Beyond Meat develops and supplies plant-based substitutes for beef, pork and poultry meats. Its most renown product is the Beyond Burger, which has a similar taste and texture to ground beef and is being distributed to both supermarkets and restaurants. Beyond Meat managed to increase its revenues almost three times over to $87.9m in 2018 and to reduce its net loss to $29.9m. The IPO proceeds will go into streamlining production facilities, research and development as well as marketing.

This IPO comes from a space, which has seen no lack of attention from corporate investors – the broader emerging food and beverage realm. According to our GCV Analytics data, this subsector registered a surge of corporate-backed deals in 2018 with 81 rounds, worth an estimated total of $10.55bn, up from the 67 estimated at $2.71bn in 2017. During the first quarter of this year, the food and beverage space recorded 26 deals already.