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Food substitute Soylent raises $1.5 million ahead of planned US launch in December

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Food substitute Soylent has secured $1.5 million in investment. The nutrient-dense semi-goo has been backed by investors including Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, who previously invested $80 million in Twitter and helped sell Skype to Microsoft for $8.5 billion.

Soylent is made from rice protein, olive oil, starch, and a host of vitamins and nutrients theoretically balanced to provide a healthy human diet. The concept was dreamt up by entrepreneur Rob Rhinehart while he was working on a new wireless networking system for the developing world and found himself considering food efficiency. The food substitute has already secured more than a million dollars through an online crowd-funding campaign.

The $1.5 million investment will allow Soylent to hire a culinary director to work on the food substitute's taste

This new investment capital means Rhinehart and his team will be able to relocate from San Francisco to Los Angeles and manufacture Soylent in-house. It will also fund the hiring of a culinary director that'll work on the taste and sensation of the nutritious liquid: although beta testers have been using it for months, TechCrunch's Kim-Mai Cutler describes it as "still a bit bland."

Rhinehart says Soylent is currently at version 1.0, and that he plans to ship the first batches in December. TechCrunch reports a week's worth of Soylent will cost around $65, but Rhinehart has said he'd like the food substitute to cost about $5 a day.