The $16.5m Series B led by Trinity Ventures will also help the company propel the development of its IoT-enable technology that allows consumers to customize their beverages at point of use.
“What we’re trying to do is use design and technology to make this experience so easy and so fun that people are willing to quit the habit of consuming bottled beverages,” Bevi co-founder Frank Lee told BeverageDaily.
Founded in 2013 by Eliza Becton, Sean Grundy, and Frank Lee, Bevi was created as a sustainable way of drinking beverages in the workplace.
“For us, it’s not so much just the plastic and cans that are wasteful, but it’s also wasteful for trucks and the fuel it takes to transport full bottles of beverages across the country,” Lee said.
Becton holds a master’s degree in industrial design from the Rhode Island School of Design and was tapped by Grundy and Lee for her thesis on a way to “out-design” bottled water, Lee said.
“She essentially had a pretty early sketch of what a machine would like,” he said.
The company’s first machine model measures 61 inches tall and 22 inches wide and is hooked up to the building’s tap water system where it filters, flavors, and carbonates the water at point of use.
Bevi machines are all internet connected and collect real-time data to proactively perform operations such a maintenance and refilling of flavors. It also uses the data to monitor flavor and usage trends as well as the amount of waste saved.
“Essentially we build a new supply chain to deliver any type of beverage powered by tap water and powered by data,” Lee said.
To date and based on data, Bevi machines have saved approximately 10 million beverage containers from landfill and each machine saves around 30,000 bottles of waste per year, according to Lee.
Entry into smaller offices
In 2016, the company registered over 1,000% in revenue growth and has hundreds of corporate clients including Apple, Netflix, Fidelity, and GE. Bevi will soon launch its counter-top sized machine in addition to its original floor-standing machine that stands at five-feet-tall.
“It’s a unit with a smaller footprint that we basically put on top of a cabinet space and we put some machine components underneath it,” Lee said.
“I don’t know if we’ll be in homes, but we’re definitely using this as a way to get into smaller offices, which we do get a lot of requests from.”
With the funding, the company is starting to expand beyond offices and into hotels, fitness centers, and schools in the US as well as international markets like Hong Kong, and it will soon enter Canada.