Start-up watch: Food start-up Soylent is nourishing itself on $10 million in financing from Silicon Valley-based Andreessen Horowitz, a deal which values the company at around $100 million. Soylent founder Rob Rhinehart came up with idea for the meal-replacement formula for developer types who have trouble fitting food buying, preparation and consumption into the daily grind. He says he and his crew were put out by the disproportionate amount of time and money they spent creating nutritionally complete meals. No surprise, then, that Soylent’s tagline is ‘free your body’.
Each serving of Soylent provides ‘maximum nutrition with minimum effort’, according to Rhinehart. It's also not expensive, costing around $10 a day, or under $4 a meal, though the downside is it’s supposed to taste pretty bad. But wait. Now there’s Soylent 1.3 and the company has replaced potassium gluconate with dipotassium phosphate as the primary source of potassium. This has apparently ‘improved the neutrality of Soylent’s flavour profile’ while decreasing the mass of the Soylent pouch.
But it’s not over yet. The company’s product development team is ‘moving at lightning speed’ to further enhance the Soylent experience.
By the way, the product gets its name from seventies sci-fi film Soylent Green, which features a food product of the same name with a secret ingredient known as human being.