Investment provides a jolt for a climate-friendly morning brew
When we first covered the “beanless coffee” startup Atomo back in March 2022, we included it in our ongoing series of Wild Ideas — innovative and sometimes seemingly far-fetched schemes that could, if successful, help address the problem of global warming. With its latest infusion of cash, Atomo Coffee’s future looks a lot more real, a little less wild.
A $40 million Series A investment from AgTech leaders S2G Ventures, AgFunder and Horizons Ventures, which closed at the end of June, provides the Seattle-based company a runway to expand the production and distribution of its initial products.
“This funding will enable Atomo to launch our canned cold brew in select retailers, scale our manufacturing and continue our investment in coffee science innovation,” Atomo CEO and cofounder Andy Kleitch told Climate & Capital.
Since its founding in 2019, Atomo has been meticulously crafting its “molecular coffee,” an attempt to reverse engineer the coffee bean and produce a tasty, sustainable coffee alternative. Atomo says its product uses 94% less water and emits 93% less carbon than conventional coffee. It also avoids contributing to deforestation that results from coffee plantation expansion. Atomo revolutionizes the morning brew by substituting coffee beans with the upcycled palm date pits, in combination with other ingredients.
After several years of research and development, Atomo has officially launched its first three products, including Classic Black and Ultra Smooth cold brews. Most recently — in partnership with Minor Figures, a B Corp that produces vegan products — it has rolled out Oat Milk Latte, which Atomo sells through its web store.
“We have partnered with Minor Figures to use their carbon-negative oat milk to pair with our carbon-busting coffee,” according to Tori Jordan, with Atomo public relations.
Looking ahead, Kleitsch said Atomo is exploring plans to establish a new ingredient processing facility in the Coachella Valley that will allow the company to work closely with local date farmers.