Soylent had its first virality in 2013 when VICE-produced short documentary reporter, Brian Merchant, visited the Oakland-based headquarters of the company only to unearth a rat infestation and an awkwardly edited interview with CEO Rob Rhinehart.
After several years, Soylent managed to dust off reputation, and proved to the world that they must be taken seriously. Just late last week, Soylent announced that it had completed a $50 million Series B financing round led by GV (formerly Google Ventures). Soylent might have sent their regards to Merchant by that time, saying, “What’s good Merchant?”
In coordination with Tao Capital Partners and previous investors Lerer Hippeau Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz, Soylent has now raised a whopping $74.5 million to date as of this round. Despite the wrong timing product recall issue that the food replacement company had while they were gaining millions, Soylent seems to still be able to persist in the industry.
GV General Partner Andy Wheeler led the round. Wheeler is a known big-time investor in respected food and beverage industry heavy hitters like plant-based food disruptor Impossible Foods and agri-data company Farmers Business Network.
During his announcement of the investment in the brand, Wheeler said, “Soylent is addressing one of the biggest issues we face today: access to complete, affordable nutrition. As one of the pioneers in this space, Soylent is tackling this problem head-on with progressive thinking and a clear strategy that has led to outstanding growth.”
Due to this success, Soylent plans on expanding its business and creating new products. When commenting on the brand’s noteworthy uniform demographics, a brand spokesperson stated, “While young, educated, tech-savvy, urban males still make up the majority of our customer base, our growing suite of products provides us with the opportunity to reach out to a wider range of consumers. As the Soylent brand continues to mature, we’re confident that we’ll see ongoing expansion into additional key demographics.”
“Developing convenient, complete products and scalable food technologies are the cornerstones of our strategy. Similar to a software company, our R&D team is constantly iterating on our current product lines, while also experimenting with potential new offerings. The nomenclature and packaging are stripped down to the bare minimum, highlighting the products and the nutrition they provide,” Soylent spokesperson added when discussing the company’s branding.
The company also mentioned its position when it comes to transparency, saying, “There has also been a huge shift in the public’s point of view regarding transparency in our food system. This has always been a cornerstone of our business model. We believe that everyone has the right to know what is going into their bodies. This has provided a huge opportunity for Soylent, as well as other companies in our industry, to create a paradigm shift that dramatically affects the way we create, distribute, and consume food.”
Soylent is a proud promoter of nutrition. One of their missions emphasizes on their positive contributions to nutrition, sustainability and fighting global hunger. Such as, its site advertises that the company will donate a meal to a child in need for each case of Coffiest or Soylent Bar sold in support of World Food Program USA.