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Anti-food startup Soylent pours sugar daddies' $1.5m into its gloopy mix

CEO: 'I certainly enjoy mortal food but I'm mostly living off Soylent'

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Soylent, the geek-run startup that aims to defeat food by replacing all meals with a pint and a half of beige gloop, has slurped down $1.5m in filthy valley lucre.

The funding was announced on Monday and will give the controversial upstart the ability to do some hiring, perhaps fund a medical trial, and investigate the feasibility of doing an in-house manufacturing process.

"I certainly enjoy mortal food, but I'm mostly living off Soylent," the company's founder and inventor of the gloop chief Rob Rhinehart told El Reg on Monday. "Most of the time I just want something simple and easy but I still enjoy the recreational, fun aspects of food."

The company has been hugely controversial, with many detractors arguing its gloop is little more than a well-marketed protein-heavy slurry.

But the company's claims that Soylent works as a full meal replacement have been born out by numerous testers around the US, including this hack who spent a week subsisting off the stuff in June. (Diary available here, here, and here). We're still skeptical about the long-term health effects of an all-Soylent diet, especially about derriere-related deletions, but the slurry didn't kill us during our week with it.

"There are supplements on the market [such as Ensure] and all of them are designed very differently," Rhinehart told us. "Nothing has been designed to be a full meal."

The company is shipping the gunge to buyers within the US, but hopes to be able to ship to Europe and the UK "in the first half of 2014," he said.

VCs Andreessen Horowitz and Lerer Ventures ponied up to fund the company. We asked Rhinehart if he had anything to say to Soylent's numerous detractors. "This is something new and a lot of people are very uncomfortable," he said. ®

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