Food-replacement startup Soylent had a wild 2016.
In a bid to go mainstream, the company launched new products like “Coffiest,” its coffee-flavored version, and the “Soylent Bar,” its first solid-food product.
But it also had to deal with the fallout from some of its products making consumers violently ill. Soylent ended up temporarily halting some sales.
But 2017 appears to be off to a good start, as Soylent just snagged a $50 million Series B financing round led by GV (formerly Google Ventures). That brings its total funding to $74.5 million.
More than the money, however, the new funding affirms that Soylent’s big backers still believe in the company’s vision of the future. Soylent founder Rob Rhinehart, more than perhaps any other founder in the tech world, lives the dream he preaches with Soylent.
Before formally launching the food-replacement product, he used his own body to experiment with the recipe. He tinkered with different doses and types of nutrients, sometimes hurting himself in the process. Rhinehart truly believes in hacking food to make something affordable, easy, and sustainable. And he has a very distinct vision of the future of food.
We previously put together 31 quotes from Rhinehart that show his view of the world and the future. If you are on his side, they are inspiring and logical. If you are not, they may sound wacky.
On nature: “People have this belief that just because something is natural it’s good. The natural state of man is ignorant, and starving, and cold.”
On grocery stores: “I have not set foot in a grocery store in years. Nevermore will I bumble through endless confusing aisles like a pack-donkey searching for feed while the smell of rotting flesh fills my nostrils and fluorescent lights sear my eyeballs and sappy love songs torture my ears.”
On foodies: “Everyone’s like, ‘The natural, organic way is the best.’ And it sounded a lot like fundamentalist Christianity.”