Soylent: Silicon Valley hacking food sector?

Soylent, the San Francisco-based meal replacement company, is reportedly raising just over $10 million in funding, after raising $1.5 million in venture capital last year.

Soylent is a bland, shake-style product that purports to contain all the fat, protein, energy and nutrients a person requires. It is not a typical nutritional supplement in that it was designed to be a lifestyle choice, for people who don't want to be bothered with the "inconvenience" of cooking or buying more complex meals. A byproduct of Silicon Valley culture for tech industry movers and shakers who don't have time to eat.

Creator and chief executive Rob Rhinehart gave his homemade concoction a 30-day try back in 2013, writing at the time that “not worrying about food is fantastic,” and that he felt “liberated from a crushing amount of repetitive drudgery.”

The concept could have significant implications--direct and indirect--for areas of the world where malnutrition is a serious concern. However, for the moment it is following the trajectory of a tech startup.

The brand name is taken, consciously, from the 1973 movie "Soylent Green," though the compay's VP of marketing assured the Wall Street Journal that “is not made of humans.”

Image sources: Soylent/Rosa Labs and IMDB

--Clara Shen


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