Soylent Really Green: Meal-Replacement Startup Raising at $100 Million Valuation

Soylent

By: Lauren Goode.  Source: Re/Code

Soylent, the San Francisco-based maker of a buzzed-about nutritional supplement of the same name, is raising just over $10 million in funding, Re/code has learned.

The new round of funding puts the startup company at a $100 million pre-money valuation and is being led by one of its current investors, Andreessen Horowitz. It is not clear if the round is complete, but sources said it was likely.

Soylent, for the uninitiated, is a meal-replacement shake that is said to contain around a hundred percent of the recommended daily allowance of fat, potassium, carbs and vitamins. (The recipe can be found here.)

While nutrient-rich meal-replacement formulas and shakes are often distributed to communities of hungry or malnourished people — and Soylent has been considered in this realm — Soylent was actually an invention of convenience. After creator and chief executive Rob Rhinehart gave his homemade concoction a 30-day try back in 2013, he wrote that “not worrying about food is fantastic,” and that he felt “liberated from a crushing amount of repetitive drudgery.” (Rhinehart is not a doctor or nutritionist, and does not purport to be.)

Then, after a successful crowdfunding campaign, the initial batch of Soylent hit the market in May of last year. It has been described as everything from “bland” to “homemade non-toxic Play-Doh” to a “red flag for a potential eating disorder.” There have also been many jokes about issues around, well, flatulence when imbibing the product.

Soylent previously raised $1.5 million in funding from Lerer Hippeau Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz, which declined to comment. A query sent to Soylent has not yet been returned.

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