Dave Asprey, the man famous for encouraging Silicon Valley execs to put butter in his special blend of coffee, has raised another $19 million to keep on doing just that.
His company and lifestyle brand Bulletproof 360 claims to make coffee free of something called mycotoxins, which is, basically, mold and can make you very ill if ingested. Asprey says about 75 percent of other brands are full of these mycotoxins and they are affecting the brains and bodies of America’s leaders. But for $18.95 you can get a bag of Asprey’s “Upgraded” blend of zero mycotoxins coffee.
But that claim doesn’t seem to hold up. Mycotoxins are in a lot of things, including meats, grains, coffee and a bunch of other foodstuffs and are most certainly harmful in large quantities. However, most every coffee company in the world is aware of this cancer-causing mold and many use wet processing to clean the beans for that reason. Bulletproof says that’s not enough and that it has some extra special technique, but despite whatever that is, some have claimed to have found below threshold levels of mycotoxins in Asprey’s coffee anyway.
Also, according to a National Institutes of Health study Americans who drank more than four cups of coffee a day were found to have well below what’s considered safe levels of mycotoxins. Levels were so low after the normal coffee bean roasting process the NIH discontinued the study so it doesn’t seem like this should be a big concern for coffee drinkers anyway.
As for dissecting the other claims, like a special fat that makes you thin and reduces your cholesterol or that grass-fed butter has health benefits for your brain would make for a much longer post. However, there is some preliminary evidence that medium-chain triglycerides do help with weight loss.
There’s also something to be said for building a loyal following and a solid sales pipeline in the health and wellness field — something not everyone can do in such a crowded space. And Asprey’s own backstory lends to his credibility here. The man lost about a 100 pounds after spending $1 million of his own money in trial and error “hacking” his own body. But really, anyone who can sell something called FATwater (literally water with fat in it) deserves a medal in the sales hall of fame.
While we don’t know the year-over-year sales figures, Bulletproof seems to have done well enough at least to convince VC’s to hand over more money. CAVU Venture Partners led the round, along with previous investor Trinity Ventures (which also, incidentally, invested in Starbucks) . Bulletproof previously took in $9 million in Series A, bringing up the total funding to date to $28 million.
Asprey, who just released his latest book, titled HEAD STRONG, also plans to expand to more retail stores this year, starting in New York City. His two existing Bulletproof Cafés are in Southern California.