Coffee tech firm Bellwether Coffee raises $40m in funding

USA – California based Coffee technology firm, Bellwether Coffee has raised US$40 million through a Series B funding to accelerate expansion of its electronic commercial roaster and online coffee bean marketplace solutions.

Led by DBL Partners and brothers Lyndon and Peter Rive, the funding round brings Bellwether total funding to US$56 million, including a US$10 million Series A funding in August 2018 and a US$6 million seed funding in 2016.

With its increasing customer base, Bellwether plans to expand manufacturing capabilities and grow its customer-facing team with the infusion of venture capital funding.

The company develops tech-enabled zero-emission commercial coffee roasters designed to sit in cafes, grocery stores and other commercial locations.

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The goal is to give coffee shops the power to roast their own beans, forgoing the middle men that have historically sold wholesale pre-roasted beans at a premium to cafes around the world.

Bellwether claims that the electronic coffee roaster produces 90% fewer greenhouse gas emissions when compared traditional gas-powered alternatives.

According to the company, traditional coffee roasters often require natural gas lines and complicated venting systems, while the electric Bellwether Roaster can be installed in any location.

The internet-connected Bellwether Roaster also allows operators to access a marketplace of green coffee from farms around the world, enabling its customers to roast on-site.

The machine also incorporates inventory management tools and data analytics from its connected software.

The roaster is ventless and electric, as well as programmable via an iPad and does not require any previous roasting experience, reports FoodBev.

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Bellwether claims that it is, on average, installing a roaster per day across the US, and that this funding round will enable the company to accelerate its growth efforts.

After growing revenues six fold in 2019, the start-up is also unlocking its global ambitions, with launches in Southeast Asia and Europe scheduled for next year.

Bellwether’s CEO, Nathan Gilliland said: “We are thrilled to be working closely with DBL, Lyndon and Peter Rive to help accelerate our already rapid growth.

“We expect in-store roasting at cafes and grocery locations to become the rule, not the exception. We are proud that the Bellwether Roaster has become the most consistent and controllable commercial coffee roaster available.”

Bellwether was founded in 2013 by Ricardo Lopez. The company is also backed by FusionX, Congruent Ventures, Coffee Bell, Tandem Capital, Spindrift Equities, XN Ventures, Balius Partners and Hardware Club.

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