Meal-replacement drink manufacturer Rosa Foods Inc., maker of the Soylent drink, announced on Thursday that it had raised a $50 million Series B round led by GV (formerly Google Ventures) with participation from Tao Capital Partners, and prior investors Lerer Hippeau Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz.
The Series B round will be used to fund rapid expansion, Rob Rhinehart, chief executive of the downtown company, said in an email.
“This funding will enable us to expand our current product offerings, support our expansion efforts into traditional retail and international territories, and further our goal of bringing Soylent products to people around the world,” he wrote.
Soylent is a grey-brown dissolvable powder that claims to be packed with all the essential nutrients a person needs to survive. Its focus on scientifically formulated food has created a passionate customer base within the tech community. Time-pressed engineers are especially fond of the drink, preferring to guzzle their food as a liquid instead of dealing with the hassles of traditional eating. Consequently, the company is also backed by a cohort of tech investors.
However, Soylent has had its fair share of hiccups lately, including two product recalls within the last year, one which a result of some customers falling ill. Still, product recalls don’t appear to concern recent investors or to have slowed the company’s ambitions.
The startup’s product line has expanded since it launched 2013 to include bottled Soylent in a fruity flavor, chocolate flavor, and coffee mix, as well as a protein bar.
The firm’s products are only sold through the company’s website and Amazon.com, though it plans to expand to brick-and-mortar retail stores, Rhinehart said.
“We have a series of partnerships in the works, from convenience stores to large distribution outfits, but ultimately we want Soylent in the hands of as many people as possible,” he wrote. “Our products should be as easy to buy as a cup of coffee.”
Andy Wheeler, GV’s general partner, has joined Soylent’s board as part of the Series B funding round. The company has received a total of $74.5 million in funding to date.
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