Atomo, the Seattle coffee company that makes its sustainable bean-free brews, has raised $40 million in new funding, the startup announced Tuesday.
Atomo is also officially launching sales of its first two products – Classic Black and Ultra Smooth cold brews – through its web store. The company staged a fast-selling e-commerce pop-up for the first time last fall.
Since 2019, Atomo has been perfecting and scaling the reverse engineering of the coffee bean, removing it from the brewing process and replacing it with a molecular brew derived from naturally sustainable, upcycled plant-based waste ingredients.
The aim is to mitigate the effects of climate change on coffee-producing regions around the world and replace the environmentally destructive process of coffee cultivation. Atomo’s brews use 94% less water and 93% less CO2 than conventional coffee, and 98% upcycled ingredients such as date seed extracts, chicory root and grape skins.
The big Series A funding comes at a time when economic concerns for businesses across the technology spectrum are mounting. Many startups are already cutting costs and scaling their workforces as venture capitalists pull back on investments.
“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,” said CEO Andy Kleitsch. “We will be optimistic but responsible with our recent investments. The impending downturn should slow new competition in the market and allow us to attract great talent.”
Atomo has grown to 35 employees and has about a dozen open positions with more to come.
Jarret Stopforth, co-founder and former chief scientist of Atomo, left the company in May and is now co-founder and COO at Dewey Beverage, makers of a canned cocktail, according to LinkedIn.
“Jarrett is on his way to his next adventure,” said Ed Hoehn, Atomo’s head of growth. “His legacy is strong through the innovative science he developed at Atomo. We are in good hands with our innovation team led by Charlie Shaw.”
The company has ramped up production at a coffee roaster in Seattle, 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. Pricing for an 8-pack is $40 and a 24-pack is $120. The drink is described as a “well-rounded medium roasted cold brew with hints of cocoa, dark fruit and a hint of smoke.” Products will ship on July 15.
Continuing plans for growth include making products available in select retail locations later this year. Atomo will also open an ingredient processing facility in California this summer, allowing the startup to work with more farmers in the Coachella Valley to upcycle date pits.
Atomo has raised $51.5 million to date. The final round was led by S2G Ventures, AgFunder and Horizons Ventures.
“Demand for coffee is increasing year on year, with climate change having a significant impact on agricultural regions, which in turn will affect consumers through price and availability,” AgFunder’s Rob Leclerc said in a press release. “Breakthrough technologies developed by Atomo will be part of the solution for future generations to continue enjoying their favorite brews.”