Some more news has emerged from the Soylent deal. On Sunday we reported that health drink maker Soylent was raising $10 million, but yesterday Chris Dixon of Andreessen-Horowitz announced on his blog that Soylent had now closed a $20 million, led by current investor Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) with participation from Lerer Ventures, and Index Ventures.
Chris Dixon, of Andreessen-Horowitz provided some rational on his blog for the investment:
Soylent is a community of people who are enthusiastic about using science to improve food and nutrition. The company makes money selling one version of that improved food (some users buy “official Soylent,” others buy ingredients to make their own DIY Soylent recipe). If you look at Soylent as just a food company, you misjudge the core of the company, the same way you would if you looked at GoPro as just a camera company.
Soylent inverts the Big Food business model, spending nothing on advertising and distributing solely through e-commerce. Soylent’s “marketing plan” is to invest in its online community and in peer-reviewed scientific studies. The belief is that the internet has made people smarter, and that the old tactics of selling junk food using clever advertising will be increasingly ineffective. We have all sorts of food-related problems in the world – malnutrition, diabetes, and obesity, to name a few. Part of the solution to these problems is providing people with better scientific research, and more food choices that are convenient, nutritious, and affordable.
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