Rob Rhinehart

Rob Rhinehart2 posts
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23 Oct, 2013

$1.5 million seed funding

Rhinehart announces that Soylent has accepted $1.5 million from Andreessen Horowitz, Lerer Ventures, Hydrazine Capital, and Initialized Capital. Y Combinator retains a stake in the company. The money is in addition to over $1.5 million in pre-orders from Crowdhoster. He says the company has also taken on advisors from Columbia University, bioengineering firm Counsyl, and Muscle Milk creator Cytosport. He is still consuming mostly Soylent, along with other meals:

I still enjoy all my favorite foods. In fact, my mostly Soylent lifestyle makes my recreational meals more enjoyable than ever, now that I’m not bombarding my senses with the engineered indulgence of fast food.


Invents Soylent

Rhinehart creates the food substitute with the remaining $70,000 from Y Combinator running out, and the pitch idea of cheap cellphone towers having failed. Looking to save costs, he tries living on $5 pizzas from Little Caesars and dollar menu food from McDonalds:

I felt like I was going to die.

An all-kale diet also fails, and he starts considering food as an engineering problem:

You need amino acids and lipids, not milk itself. You need carbohydrates, not bread… [food] just seemed like a system that’s too complex and too expensive and too fragile.

He isolates 35 essential nutrients and orders them in powdered and liquid forms online, and begins creating the substance.

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