Beyond Meat offers a portfolio of revolutionary plant-based meats for consumers to experience the taste, texture and other sensory attributes of beef while enjoying the nutritional benefits of eating plant-based foods.
Kleiner Perkins was the only institutional investor in the first financing round in Beyond Meat back in 2011 at a time when meat alternatives were more niche than an obvious consumer trend. The partners at Kleiner Perkins loved livestock-based meat products and were looking at that segment broadly. In fact, originally, we were looking for a livestock genetics investment. During this process we stumbled upon Ethan Brown and Beyond Meat, and realized that new ways of texturizing plant based proteins, such as with Beyond Meat technology, could potentially be a black swan to the entire food and agriculture industry. Given the high-risk, high-reward nature of this investment, we decided to invest.
We joined the board and working with founder, Ethan Brown, oversaw the construction of manufacturing facilities that used the proprietary extrusion technology developed at the University of Missouri. We worked with Ethan to build out his leadership team and board over many years, including making introductions to key partners and co-investors along the way. In a nutshell, this is the Kleiner Perkins way of investing - entrepreneurs investing in and working with other entrepreneurs.
The company's original product was a chicken substitute, but its breakthrough product, The Beyond Burger, was the world's first 100% plant-based burger. Today Beyond Meat offers a variety of meat-substitute products, including Beyond Sausage and Beyond Beef Crumbles — sold in supermarkets and offered at restaurants, schools and retailers across the U.S. It's now also working on developing a new chicken product and we expect more exciting proteins to come. Ray Lane, Kleiner Perkins's sponsoring partner and now lead director at the company, commented: "There are few unlimited markets in the world, but Beyond Meat has ignited exactly that. The future of protein will be plant-based and human consumption will migrate away from animal protein over the next decade. Beyond Meat has led the way to open the door on the trillion dollar industry and we believe hundreds of entrepreneurs will follow."
We're proud to have supported Ethan and the Beyond Meat team to get to this IPO milestone in their game-changing journey.