US – Atomo Coffee, a maker of a molecular version of the brewed beverage, has raised US$40 million in a Series A funding round to be used on product development and to scale up manufacturing.
The funding from S2G Ventures, AgFunder, and Horizons Ventures, brings the startup’s total funding to US$51.6 million, according to Crunchbase.
Founded in 2019, Atomo has been focused on creating a product that can replicate coffee that it says uses 94% less water and emits 93% less carbon.
To achieve that, the startup uses a proprietary production method to turn ingredients including upcycled date pits into a beverage that it said provides a “delicious coffee experience.”
The Seattle-based startup has also officially launched its first products, ready-to-drink cold brews in Classic Black and Ultra Smooth varieties, and Oat Milk Latte.
The RTD cold brew contains a blend of date seed, chicory root, and grape seed extracts, along with inulin and natural flavors.
Each Atomo Molecular Cold Brew comes in an 8-ounce can, has 84 milligrams of caffeine and contains oat milk from Minor Figures, a U.K.-based startup that recently earned a minority investment from Danone Manifesto Ventures, according to the company
Atomo said it is selling the products on its website and will begin shipping on July 15, with plans for a retail launch later this year.
According to Food Dive, Atomo is also developing a ground product that would allow consumers to brew a beverage using the same methods as traditional coffee
The company is aiming to improve upon the emissions and water usage of traditional coffee without sacrificing taste by reverse-engineering the popular beverage into its “beanless brews.”
The company said that consumers will not have to sacrifice taste in switching to its beanless brew citing a recent blind taste study conducted by National Food Labs.
The study had Atomo’s cold brew beating “competitive conventional cold brew products on preference 2:1.” Atomo said panelists could not tell that its product wasn’t made with coffee beans.
Rob Leclerc, a founding partner of return investor AgFunder said: “The demand for coffee is increasing year over year with climate change significantly impacting the farming regions, which in turn will impact the consumer through price and availability.”
Breakthrough technologies pioneered by Atomo, are going to be a part of the solution for future generations to be able [to] continue enjoying their favorite brews.”
Atomo’s molecular coffee is the latest reverse-engineered product to attract the attention of investors following a funding round of US$36 million to Voyage Foods to help scale up its reverse-engineered chocolate, peanut butter, and coffee.
Liked this article? Subscribe to Food Business Africa News, our regular email newsletters with the latest news insights from Africa and the World’s food and agro industry. SUBSCRIBE HERE.