Today Seattle-based Atomo announced it had raised $40 million in Series A funding to scale production of its beanless coffee, according to an announcement sent to The Spoon.
When the company’s founders made the rounds in 2019, they pitched Atomo as the first ‘molecular’ coffee company. They had just emerged from the company’s chief scientist’s garage with a prototype of a ready-to-drink coffee made from upcycled ingredients, and eventually launched a Kickstarter with plans to make a ground coffee substitute that, when brewed, tasted and caffeinated like coffee.
The company eventually shifted its focus to developing pre-brewed products and started shipping small batches of its canned cold brew made from upcycled date seeds as well as grapes, chicory, and caffeine from tea. According to the company, they are still working on developing grounds product to allow customers to brew their own beanless coffee at home.
With today’s news, the company’s messaging is firmly centered around making “beanless” coffee crafted from upcycled ingredients. The shift away from ‘molecular’ as the primary consumer-facing descriptor makes sense given how consumers want cleaner ingredient lists, and terms like ‘beanless’ and ‘upcycled’ are less intimidating than more science-forward words like ‘molecular’ or ‘synthetic’ (which can connote non-natural ingredients).
No matter the messaging, the company’s focus has always been to create a coffee alternative that tasted like coffee but is made from more sustainable (and less challenged) plant-based ingredients. With Series A funding from S2G Ventures, AgFunder, and Horizons Ventures, the company has the resources to scale its manufacturing, invest in R&D and officially launch its consumer cold brew product.
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