Soylent, the sludge-like drink that claims to replace real food, valued at $100 million

Remember Soylent? That sludge-like, wholly unappetizing nutritional drink that supposedly replaces real food?

Apparently, the Play-Doh-like shake known for causing excessive flatulence is possibly worth $100 million.

I’m sorry, did someone say tech bubble?

Soylent, a San Francisco-based startup that develops food supplement drinks that claim to offer all the vitamins and minerals a person needs, thereby becoming a quick and cheap supplement for food, is reportedly close to closing a $10 million round from investors that include top-tier firm Andreessen Horowitz. Re/code was first to report the $100 million valuation.

Soylent was invented after creator and chief executive Rob Rhinehart, watching his funds dwindle after his Y Combinator project failed, and living on ramen and corn dogs, came up with the concoction to save money and the “time and hassle” of eating, he said in a May article in the New Yorker. He compiled what he thought were all the essential chemical components to nourish a human body, ordering them off the Internet, and combined them into the gooey drink that became Soylent. He said he felt healthier than ever (for someone living off corn dogs and ramen).

Rhinehart has published the recipe.

Despite its unappealing look and taste, and the gaseous consequences of drinking it, Soylent developed a loyal following — namely college students and techies too busy or uninterested to eat real food. (The New Yorker article helped with the company’s visibility.) A month’s worth of Soylent costs about $70, less than dinner for two at many San Francisco restaurants.

Caveat: Many have raised questions about the healthfulness of Soylent, and some caution that it is a gateway to an eating disorder. Rhinehart is not a doctor or nutritionist, nor has he ever claimed to be. After that New Yorker Article, other food-tech startups, such as Hampton Creek, actively sought to distance themselves from Soylent.

Image from Soylent (http://campaign.soylent.me)

 

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