Google has made a play to buy a hot startup in the fake meat industry called Impossible Foods, reports The Information.
The deal reportedly fell through when the two couldn’t agree on price. Google was said to have offered between $US200 million and $US300 million.
Impossible Foods is developing a fake cheeseburger, a food item that is supposed to look and taste a lot like a ground beef with cheese but is made entirely out of plants.
The goal is to make healthier meat-like-food that is more affordable and sustainable than real beef, especially in developing nations that can’t afford to raise a lot of cattle.
It’s said to be backed by such luminaries as Bill Gates, Khosla Ventures and Google executive Tony Fadell, who helped it raise $US74 million in funding.
It’s one of a handful of venture backed fake-meat or similar veggie-food startups. Others include Beyond Meat, also sells a chicken substitute, also backed by Gates as well as Twitter co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone.
Google’s desire to buy the company doesn’t seem like a straightforward fit for the internet-search giant. But its 90-person team is chock full of people with strong science and food backgrounds. And Google does have a world-class research team working on all sorts of moonshot projects, from self-driving cars to healthcare.
We reached out to Google for comment.