A total of US$2.6 million has been granted in seed funding to the Seattle-based startup, which aims to introduce the world to molecular coffee

Li Ka-shing’s private investment company, Horizons Ventures, has invested US$2.6 million in seed funding to Atomo Coffee Inc. to develop the world’s first molecular coffee—that is, coffee made without coffee beans.

According to PR Newswire, the innovative start-up will use the funds to reverse engineer coffee beans to create a naturally-derived, sustainable and consistent cup of Joe. The company states that the result has the potential to be even better than commercial coffee, thanks to the absence of the bitterness of coffee beans. 

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The idea for molecular coffee came to Atomo's founders when they realised the world needed an answer to the problems climate change had brought to the coffee industry, as rising temperatures in coffee growing regions are causing the fruit of coffee trees to ripen too quickly, not fully allowing the beans inside to develop all the rich flavours and aromas. 

"Atomo's beanless coffee provides consumers with a sustainable choice while delivering the great taste and caffeine they expect in their morning cup," said CEO of Atomo, Andy Kleitsch.

Horizons Ventures is passionate about investing in companies that are changing the future of food for the better, having funded companies including the revolutionary plant-based meat alternative creator, Impossible Foods, and Perfect Day, which has found a way to use plants to produce near-identical dairy products. 

See also: Li Ka-shing Invests In Improving Canada's Healthcare System

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