Twitter co-founder Evan Williams is a bigger investor in vegan meat than his own company.
Daily figures published by Bloomberg Billionaire’s Index last week indicate Williams’ stake Beyond Meat is worth $414 million, $10 million more than his stake in Twitter.
Williams, along with fellow co-founder Christopher Isaac Stone, were both early investors in the plant-based meat startup. Williams invested through his fund Obvious Ventures, which states healthy living ventures as one of its focuses.
There are several reasons why this could be the case. The difference could be down to Williams slowly letting go of and selling his shares in the company he co-founded. Forbes reported in December 2018 that he had “unloaded nearly half of his Twitter shares since April of the same year.”
However, it is most likely due to the incredible success Beyond Meat has seen recently. As well as multiple new partnerships with restaurants and fast-food chains, the company’s valuation skyrocketed after it launched its IPO earlier this month.
Obvious Ventures held just under a 10 percent stake in the company before it went public.
Williams commented on the success of the company. He said at an event in Toronto, “[t]he response to the Beyond Meat IPO, which has been so gratifying, is that people are paying attention to this plant protein company that most people wouldn’t have predicted would make such a big blip.”
He also credits his past experiences as a vegan for the investment. Both Williams and Stone followed a plant-based diet and wanted to “to penetrate the meat market.”
Beyond Meat’s Big Success
Beyond Meat had the largest IPO in the U.S. in nearly 20 years, when it launched earlier this year. The company saw its valuation leap from $1.2 billion to more than $3.8 billion on its first day.
The launch was so successful it carried across into the vegan meat industry. The sector saw a 4000 percent increase as a result of Beyond Meat’s success, from $1 million to $40 billion.
The vegan meat brand has many celebrity investors, in addition to Evan Williams. It has been backed by notable figures such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Bill Gates, John Salley, and Shaquille O’Neal, with several other athletes acting as brand ambassadors.