Soylent, a substance, is about to be everywhere. A team of queasy venture capitalists just invested $US50 million ($67.5 million) into the company. This, despite the fact that Soylent is perhaps best known for lying about its ingredients and giving people fits of relentless vomiting and uncontrollable diarrhoea.
Welcome to the clammy embrace of late capitalism. This is a world where a young startup bro who hates food can invent a potion based on internet research, bottle it up, name it after something from a dystopian sci-fi novel that’s literally made of people, sell it to other startup bros, raise millions of dollars in funding, sell it to other food-haters, make all of those people violently ill, fool vegans into consuming animal products, issue a whole bunch of recalls, and then raise $US50 million ($67.5 million) more dollars. It’s almost as if Silicon Valley will barf money into the mouth of any project just to see what comes out the other side. In this case, it’s crap.
The new round of funding is led by GV (formerly Google Ventures) and includes big shot funds like Andreessen Horowitz and Lerer Hippeau Ventures. That extra $US50 million ($67.5 million) brings Soylent’s total pile of cash from investors up to $US74.5 million ($100.5 million). Rob Rhinehart, the original startup bro who hates food and invented Soylent, told Bloomberg that he soon hopes to sell Soylent “pretty much anywhere you can get a coffee”. That means you might win more opportunities to spend money in order to celebrate the dismal, dangerous future we’re all living in, whether we like it or not. Let’s hope those cafes have bathrooms, though. We’re gonna need them.