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soylent.com

Founded Year

2013

Stage

Loan | Alive

Total Raised

$73M

Last Raised

$1.5M | 2 yrs ago

About Soylent

Soylent makes meal-replacement products marketed to techies. By packing nutrients into a drink, Soylent can spare people the time, money, and environmental costs of sit-down meals. The company reduces environmental impact by eliminating much of the waste and harm coming from agriculture, livestock, and food-related trash.

Soylent Headquarter Location

767 S. Alameda St Suite 450

Los Angeles, California, 90021,

United States

213-271-9069

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Research containing Soylent

Get data-driven expert analysis from the CB Insights Intelligence Unit.

CB Insights Intelligence Analysts have mentioned Soylent in 4 CB Insights research briefs, most recently on Aug 9, 2021.

Expert Collections containing Soylent

Expert Collections are analyst-curated lists that highlight the companies you need to know in the most important technology spaces.

Soylent is included in 4 Expert Collections, including Food & Beverage .

F

Food & Beverage

3,527 items

A

Alternative Proteins Startups

377 items

This Collection includes B2B and B2C companies developing alternatives to animal-derived proteins, including plant-based meat, dairy alternatives, lab-grown or cultured meat, and fermented proteins.

W

Wellness Tech

1,302 items

We define wellness tech as companies developing technology to help consumers improve their physical, mental, and social well-being. Companies in this collection play across a wide range of categories, including food and beverage, fitness, personal care, and corporate wellness.

F

Food & Meal Delivery

1,466 items

Startups and tech companies offering online grocery, food, beverage, and meal delivery services.

Latest Soylent News

Soylent found a cult following in San Francisco techies, but its appeal has traveled across the nation and industries. Drinkers ...

Jun 16, 2022

This story is available exclusively to Insider subscribers. Become an Insider and start reading now. Soylent's top customers live in San Francisco, Chicago, NYC, Seattle, LA, Austin, and Houston. They are mostly affluent millennials and Gen Zers, busy working women, entrepreneurs, and students. The pandemic has shifted the work culture. "We're all busier than ever," CEO Demir Vangelov said. Each morning, Rebecca Green, the marketing director at the insurance company IMA Financial Group, has one ritual. She drinks a mocha-flavored plant-based meal-replacement drink called Soylent. In fact, she's had this ritual since 2016 and is known in the office for having a Soylent at hand's reach. "Soylent is basically a part of my personal brand at the office," Green told Insider. "If I'm still holding it by 11, my team knows it's probably been an extra-busy morning." What started as a cult following of the protein-packed drink for San Francisco's overworked software engineers banging out code at all hours of the day has spread across the country and industries. Soylent's CEO, Demir Vangelov, said San Francisco was still a top city for Soylent but its customer base was also in Chicago, New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, Houston, and Austin, Texas. "Our consumers include young professionals, busy working women, entrepreneurs, and students," he said. Two-thirds of its customers are affluent millennials and Gen Zers, Vangelov added. Soylent's founders, Rob Rhinehart, Matt Cauble, John Coogan, and David Renteln, were a group of engineers who were fed up with eating frozen meals and ramen noodles at their desks. They developed Soylent in 2013 as a way to optimize their time at work so they could drink calories without having to leave their computers. Over the years, the company has been at the front of a number of gastrointestinal-related scandals. In 2016, some customers reported stomach issues from its bars and the 1.6 version of its powder. The company recalled its products and said the likely irritant was algal flour. In early 2017, it released its reengineered food without the ingredient. Even Rhinehart couldn't escape its flatulence-causing attributes. When he was experimenting with the ingredients before launch, "I cleared out a jazz theatre once," Rhinehart told The New Yorker . He had overestimated the amount of sulfur in the mix, and the team quickly fixed the formula. Backed by Alphabet Inc.'s venture arm, GV, and Andreessen Horowitz, the company is exploring its options with an advisor to sell to strategic buyers or private-equity firms , Bloomberg reported in May. In April 2020, the company received a loan of $1.86 million from Silicon Valley Bank as a part of government assistance for businesses during the pandemic, known the Paycheck Protection Program. It also crowdfunded $800,000 through Kickstarter in April 2019, according to PitchBook data . "The pandemic shifted the work culture for us as a society. Despite having more flexibility in our workdays, we're all busier than ever," Vangelov said. "When we surveyed our consumers recently, we found an increase in people drinking Soylent during the day at home and at work." Demir Vangelov, the CEO of Soylent. Courtesy of Soylent Convenience remains at the top of consumers' minds in regard to the meal-replacement drink. Instead of worrying about the next meal, people can drink a 400-calorie 14-ounce bottle that contains all 28 essential vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients, with 21 grams of fat, 20 grams of protein, and 37 grams of carbohydrates. Soylent's 2.0 drink costs $3.50 a bottle, with chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, mocha, banana, mint chocolate, chai, and original flavors. It also has a line of powders and bars. Ana Reisdorf, a registered dietitian, said that while consumers of Soylent, in theory, could live off liquid food, "there are no long-term studies to evaluate the potential side effects." There are some known health concerns. For example, a Soylent drinker's blood sugar could spike easier, as liquid calories are absorbed quicker than those of solid foods. There's also the concern of digestive-health issues, as Soylent contains only 3 grams of fiber per bottle. "Even if you drink four to five a day, this would only add up to 12 to 15 grams, which is not enough to meet the recommended 25 to 35 grams per day," Reisdorf said. Yet Reisdorf believes Soylent is a better choice than fast food, which makes it attractive if time is scarce. "If you wanted to replace one meal per day with it and ate a balanced diet the other meals, I see no problem with doing so," Reisdorf said. "One of the main draws for me is the knowledge that I can quickly grab something that will be more healthy and nutritionally complete than other quick alternatives, like fast food or processed lunch options," Seth Bowman, a structural analyst at Boeing, said. For Tyler, who declined to give his full name because of the nature of his work in IT, it was dealing with unmedicated ADHD. "Getting anything started was enough of a chore, let alone three square meals a day," he said. "Having a reliable, relatively cheap, consistent, and that I didn't have to think about, was a huge draw." Nate Shane, a frequent skydiver and self-employed developer, had a diet that was 100% Soylent from 2015 to 2020, drinking five bottles a day. Frequent travel with his business partner at the time was his main motivation for opting for the drink over food. Rather than buying expensive and unhealthy airport food, he kept powdered Soylent in his carry-on. "Some people drink socially, and I would eat solid food socially," he said. "The ability to be eating in a healthy fashion, not having to deal with any kind of decision fatigue whatsoever related to picking the next meal, all that stuff, kind of stacks very nicely." He now drinks two Soylents a day and is back to eating solid foods, mostly vegetables, fruits, and lean meat. He made the decision to go back to solid foods as he became more active over the pandemic. From climbing to swimming, triathlons, and trail running, he noticed he needed the extra calories to gain muscle mass. For some, the thought of drinking your calories may seem strange. "People can get upset, nearly vitriolic online, at the idea when they first hear about it because of just how intertwined our cultural contexts are with food. I can't really blame them. It is a weird idea for most," Tyler said. But at the end of the day, "it's just food," he added. He speculated this was likely why Soylent rebranded its biohacking roots to a meal-replacement health shake in 2020. "The science behind our products is still there," Vangelov, the CEO, said. "We are still providing all the macro- and micronutrients that your body requires in one convenient package with only 1 gram of sugar." That's compared with its original 15 grams of sugar. While some appreciate its decision to reduce its sugar content, its longtime followers have taken notice of its rebranding. "It's a wrong move because the engineered solution is what drew me to it," said Shane, who has been a Soylent drinker for six years now said. Tyler agreed and said it was "an absolutely terrible idea." "The market is flooded with health drinks, and Soylent could have stuck to its engineering roots to set itself apart," he added. Sam Roop, an IT workplace engineer at the American Chemical Society thinks otherwise. "The shift away from the more nerdy beginning makes sense," Roop, who's been drinking Soylent since 2015, said. A tub of potassium gluconate on a production table at the Soylent corporate office in Oakland, California. Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images Soylent's top competitors of vegan protein-packed meal-replacement shakes include Huel (whose followers call themselves Hueligans), Mana, Vade Nutrition, Plenny, and LyfeFuel. But convenience continues to win over Soylent's customer base, setting it apart from alternatives. "I automatically get it monthly via Amazon subscribe and save — most of the competitors are not available there," Roop said. "Overall, the movement Soylent created is still one that goes strong today," Tyler said. "For many, it has simply become a new norm: a shake to replace those food-truck lunches or grab-and-go breakfasts, a way to better control their diet and skip the barrier to entry that cooking can be, or a full regiment tailored to specific health needs." Green, the insurance marketing director, said: "When I was a kid, my mom always said I got bored of food before I got full. I am not a habit or routine person. I literally don't order the same coffee drink two days in a row. Soylent is my one and only habit." Sign up for notifications from Insider! Stay up to date with what you want to know. Subscribe to push notifications

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  • When was Soylent founded?

    Soylent was founded in 2013.

  • Where is Soylent's headquarters?

    Soylent's headquarters is located at 767 S. Alameda St, Los Angeles.

  • What is Soylent's latest funding round?

    Soylent's latest funding round is Loan.

  • How much did Soylent raise?

    Soylent raised a total of $73M.

  • Who are the investors of Soylent?

    Investors of Soylent include Paycheck Protection Program, Andreessen Horowitz, Lerer Hippeau, Google Ventures, Tao Capital Partners and 4 more.

  • Who are Soylent's competitors?

    Competitors of Soylent include Vade Nutrition and 6 more.

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