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Compound Foods raises $4.5m to develop synthetic coffee products

Compound Foods raises $4.5m (£3.2m) to develop synthetic coffee formula, with product launches planned for late 2021 

Maricel Saenz, founder and CEO of Compound Foods | Photo credit: Compound Foods

Compound Foods has attained $4.5m (£3.2m) in seed funding from multiple investors, giving the company total funding of $5.3m (£3.8m) to date. 

Founded in 2020, Compound Foods uses synthetic biology to make coffee without beans through molecular extraction. The San Francisco-based firm aims to create a more sustainable solution for the global coffee industry to address the myriad climate issues facing coffee farmers around the world. 

The company said it will use the new funds to improve product ‘formulation’ and scale up the brand as it works towards a soft launch by the end of 2021. 

“Temperatures are rising and combined with erratic rains are leading to lower crop yield,” said Maricel Saenz, CEO and founder of Compound Foods. 

“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,” added Saenz. 

In August 2019, US start-up Atomo Molecular Coffee secured $2.6m seed funding from private investment firm, Horizon Ventures, to develop its own molecular coffee made without organic coffee beans. 

The company also received an additional $9m investment in 2020, which was co-led by Horizons Ventures and S2G Ventures. The coffee products are scheduled to be released this year, according to the firm’s website. 

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