According to an announcement sent to The Spoon, Seattle-based Atomo has raised $40 million in Series A funding to scale production of its beanless coffee.
In 2019, the company’s founders promoted Atomo as the industry’s first “molecular” coffee company. They had just emerged from its chief scientist’s garage with a prototype of a ready-to-drink coffee made from upcycled ingredients, and launched a Kickstarter campaign with plans to create a ground coffee substitute that, when brewed, tasted and contained caffeine like coffee.
The company eventually shifted its focus to developing pre-brewed products and began shipping small batches of its upcycled date seed, grape, chicory, and tea-derived caffeine cold brew in cans.
With today’s news, the company’s messaging is firmly centered on upcycled “beanless” coffee. The shift away from’molecular’ as the primary consumer-facing descriptor makes sense, given that consumers want cleaner ingredient lists, and terms such as ‘beanless’ and ‘upcycled’ are less intimidating than science-forward words such as’molecular’ or’synthetic’ (which can connote non-natural ingredients).
Regardless of the messaging, the company’s goal has always been to create a coffee-like alternative made from more sustainable (and less problematic) plant-based ingredients. With Series A funding from S2G Ventures, AgFunder, and Horizons Ventures, the company can scale its manufacturing, invest in R&D, and officially launch its cold brew product for consumers.