Business Public

Beyond Meat Prices IPO At Top of Range

Beyond Meat, the maker of a plant-based meat, has raised $240.6 million in its initial public offering.

The Los Angeles-based company said yesterday it priced its IPO at $25, offering 9.625 million shares, which will trade on the Nasdaq under the symbol BYND. The terms of the IPO include a 30-day option for Beyond Meat’s underwriters (including Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, and Credit Suisse) to purchase an additional 1,443,750 shares at the IPO price. The listing values the company at about $1.5 billion based on its number of outstanding shares, according to a regulatory filing as cited by MSN.

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Beyond Meat priced at the top of its expected offer range of between $23 and $25, which was increased from a previously set range of between $19 and $21 per share. 

Ethan Brown, a vegan, founded Beyond Meat in 2009 as an alternative to animal-derived meat. The company touts that its burgers use “99 percent less water, 93 percent less land, 90 percent fewer GHGE (greenhouse gas emissions), and 46 percent less energy.”

Beyond Meat previously raised $122 million over its lifetime from backers including Obvious Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, Bill Gates, Tyson Foods, and others.

Beyond Meat’s S-1 details a company quickly growing, but unable to convert that growth into profits, at least so far. Between 2016 and 2017, Beyond Meat effectively doubled its revenue from just over $16 million to $32.6 million. The company more than doubled between 2017 and 2018, expanding its top line to just under $88 million.

Over the same periods, Beyond Meat’s net margin has improved; the firm is losing less money as a percent of its revenue over time, something that investors look for in growth-oriented companies. But its losses in dollar-terms are somewhat flat. Beyond Meat had a net loss of $30.4 million in 2017. That figure fell only slightly to $29.9 million in 2018.

Those results make Beyond Meat the stuff the venture scene hungers after. However, the company’s history of gross losses – when a firm’s revenue cannot cover its own costs, let alone finance the company’s operating expenses – in both 2016 and 2017 paint a different picture. The software companies of the world chasing Beyond Meat’s ability to double and double again are accreting far more profitable revenue.

Regardless, at the top of its range Beyond Meat is enjoying a warm welcome from Wall Street. If you’re wondering why we’re covering a plant-based meat (i.e. not a traditional tech) company in the first place, check out Alex’s piece from last week.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias