Mexican venture capital fund Amplifica said the market for sustainable coffee alternatives is gathering pace, with its investment expected to support Minus’ US retail plans
Minus uses a blend of recycled ingredients, such as roots, seeds and legumes, instead of coffee beans | Photo credit: Minus
Mexico City-based Amplifica Capital has invested in California-based beanless coffee brand Minus.
Founded in 2020 and formerly known as Compound Foods, Minus uses synthetic biology to make coffee without beans through molecular extraction. The start-up uses a blend of recycled ingredients, such as roots, seeds and legumes, which are brewed in batch fermentation and caffeinated to mimic the taste of coffee.
As part of its focus on creating a more sustainable solution for the global coffee industry, Minus promotes its ready-to-drink (RTD) product as having a significantly reduced carbon footprint and lower water consumption than traditional coffee production.
Venture capital fund Amplifica Capital has not disclosed the sum of its investment but said the market for ‘sustainable alternatives to coffee is constantly growing’ and that Minus will ‘generate great returns’.
California-based Minus previously raised $4.5m in seed funding in September 2021.
Having developed a cold brew ready-to-drink (RTD) beverage sold via its website, the start-up is currently exploring additional products, including packaged ground coffee alternatives, alongside potential distribution partnerships with US retail and foodservice outlets.
If successful, Minus will face competition on the supermarket shelves from Seattle-based Atomo Coffee, which raised $40m in June 2022 to accelerate its proposed launch into US retail locations. While Atomo’s three-strong range of RTD coffee is available on its website, no official retail partnerships have yet been announced.