Compound Foods, a foodtech creating a more sustainable way for coffee lovers to enjoy their brew, recently raised $4.5M in seed funding. This round brings their total raised to $5.3M.
The startup is backed by Chris Sacca’s climate fund Lowercarbon Capital, SVLC, Humboldt Fund, Magma Partners, Collaborative Fund, Maple VC, Petri Bio, and angel investors like Nick Green, CEO of Thrive Market.
Founded in 2020 by Costa Rican-born entrepreneur Maricel Saenz, Compound Foods uses synthetic biology to create coffee without the beans. Saenz saw how climate change was affecting coffee growers around the world.
“Temperatures are rising and, combined with erratic rains, are leading to lower crop yield,” said Saenz. “The same crop can’t grow in the same place anymore, or it will be a lower quality product. Farmers in Costa Rica are having to sell their land or go higher up the mountain. Experts predict that 50% of farmland will be unsuitable in the next couple of decades.”
With coffee being the fifth most polluting crop in the value chain, Compound Foods uses food science to recreate a base formula using sustainable ingredients and reducing the amount of water needed to produce. According to Saenz, it takes 140 liters of water along the coffee growth chain to make one cup of coffee.
The company seeks to create a product that is sustainable but also tastes good, recreating coffee inspired by flavors from different parts of the world like chocolate notes found in a cup of Brazilian coffee.
With the new funding, Compound Foods aims to improve the formulation and scale up the brand as the company works toward a soft launch by the end of the year. The company is also hiring coffee lovers to help build out its technology and to expand its marketing, product, and business teams.
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