Soylent: $500K Raised, Stretch Goal Includes Gift For Backers

soylent shaker bottleRob Rhinehart’s Crowdhoster campaign for Soylent launched with a goal of $100,000. Less than three weeks later the campaign is poised to cross a half a million dollars in contributions, and that feat includes a nice perk for backers of the campaign: a stainless steel shaker bottle.

The campaign has been aided by enormous social media exposure and some impressive press. Gawker’s resident pot-stirrer Adrian Chen produced a lengthy op-ed after Rhinehart visited the Gawker Media offices. The LA Times also covered the campaign, and Forbes staffer Caleb Melby wrote of becoming a convert after a realization on the fourth day of a week-long Soylent experiment…

Earlier in the week I rued having to drink the yeast-y tasting, beige slurry that nearly gagged me on first consumption. On Day 2, I was irritable and my jaw, for lack of masticating, pained me. Commercials for Pizza Hut, Popeye’s Chicken and Quiznos filled me with shameful, desirous fantasies. I begrudged my roommates with their savory stir-fry and generous helpings of pasta — and dealt with it by locking myself away in my room, playing chess on the internet, listening to music, waiting for the dinner hour to be over. At night, I crept into the kitchen, opened the refrigerator and stared. The smell of fried chicken wafted into my bedroom window and I prayed for a respite from these worldly temptations.

Then, on Thursday morning, I opened the fridge, grabbed a chilled pitcher of water, poured it over a cocktail shaker half-filled with Soylent, added imitation vanilla, stirred (with a fork, to break up clumps easier) and drank. I prepared and consumed breakfast in under two minutes. And for the first time, I enjoyed my Soylent meal. I think its the vanilla, but it could be that my body has come to understand that it is Soylent or nothing.

rob-rhinehart-soylentTo date nearly 4,000 people have claimed their share of Soylent’s first major production run. Funding velocity has fallen off quite a bit since the campaign raised over $100,000 in the first few hours after launching, but it’s still a nice seed fund for what will presumably be Rhinehart’s new full-time operation. The team gets the added benefit of not having to pay a percentage to a crowdfunding platform in the form of fees, a benefit that comes with the choice of using Crowdtilt’s Crowdhoster as their platform of choice.

A week of Soylent can be preordered for $65.

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