Atomo, the Seattle coffee company making its sustainable brews without beans, has raised $40 million in new funding, the startup announced Tuesday.
Atomo is also officially launching the sale of its first two products — Classic Black and Ultra Smooth cold brews — via its web store. The company first hosted a quick-selling e-commerce pop-up last fall.
Since 2019, Atomo has been perfecting and scaling the reverse engineering of the coffee bean, removing it from the process of making coffee and substituting it with a molecular concoction derived from naturally sustainable, upcycled plant waste ingredients.
The goal is to mitigate the effects of climate change on coffee growing regions around the globe and provide a substitute for the environmentally destructive process of coffee farming. Atomo’s brews use 94% less water and 93% less carbon emissions than conventional coffee, and 98% upcycled ingredients such as extracts of date seed, chicory root and grape skin.
The large Series A financing comes at a time of increased economic concern for companies across the technology spectrum. Many startups are already cutting costs and trimming their workforces as venture capitalists pull back on investing.
“Downturns tend to have less of an impact on companies with breakthrough technology and products and Atomo is fortunate to be one of those organizations,” CEO Andy Kleitsch said. “We will be bullish but responsible with our recent investments. The impending downturn should slow down new competition entering the market and enable us to attract some great talent.”
Atomo has grown to 35 employees and has about a dozen jobs open with more on the way.
Jarret Stopforth, Atomo’s co-founder and former chief scientist, left the company in May and according to LinkedIn is now co-founder and COO at Dewey Beverage, makers of a canned cocktail.
“Jarrett is on to his next adventure,” said Ed Hoehn, head of growth at Atomo. “His legacy is strong through the innovative science he established at Atomo. We are in good hands with our innovation team led by Charlie Shaw.”
The company has been scaling up production at a Seattle roastery facility located just six blocks from coffee giant Starbucks. They can currently produce about 2,000 servings (1 serving per can) of cold brew per day.
A 4-pack of Classic Black on the Atomo website is available for pre-order for $22. The price for an 8-pack is $40 and a 24-pack is $120. The drink is described as a “well-rounded medium roast cold brew with hints of cocoa, dark fruit and a hint of smoke.” Products will ship July 15.
Continued plans for growth include making products available at select retail locations later this year. Atomo is also opening an ingredient processing facility in California this summer which will enable the startup to work with more farmers in the Coachella Valley to upcycle date pits.
Atomo has raised $51.5 million to date. The latest round was led by S2G Ventures, AgFunder and Horizons Ventures.
“The demand for coffee is increasing year over year with climate change significantly impacting the farming regions, which in turn will impact the consumer through price and availability,” Rob Leclerc of AgFunder said in a news release. “Breakthrough technologies pioneered by Atomo are going to be a part of the solution for future generations to be able continue enjoying their favorite brews.”
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