11 February 2019 | News
Past investors Horizon Ventures and Trinity Ventures, who had led the company’s Series A and Series B rounds respectively, also participated in the Series C
Image Source : reuters.com
Boston-based tech startup Bevi, which produces a line of “smart” beverage dispensing systems sold in office and food service channels, has raised $35 million in a Series C round led by Bessemer Venture Partners.
Bevi CEO Sean Grundy said the company previously raised $28 million to date. Past investors Horizon Ventures and Trinity Ventures, who had led the company’s Series A and Series B rounds respectively, also participated in the Series C. Bessemer investor Kent Bennett will join Bevi’s board of directors. Grundy noted that Bennett also works with food and beverage related tech companies Blue Apron, MealPal, and Toast and will bring that experience to Bevi.
Grundy said the round will go toward three key aspects of the business: growing Bevi’s sales footprint within the U.S. and Canada, building brand awareness, and product development for the company’s hardware, software and beverages.
In July, Bevi brought on several team members from the tech industry, including former executives from Boston Dynamics, Amazon Robotics, LogMeIn and Placester. Now, Grundy said, the company is hoping to bring in more talent from the beverage and CPG space and is seeking to fill a VP of marketing position. Although the company is currently focused on B2B sales, Grundy hopes to find a candidate with a consumer products background, noting that although the company is exploring the potential release of a consumer-facing appliance.
In addition to a VP of marketing, Grundy said he is seeking to fill “at least” 15 positions for engineers to develop Bevi’s customization options. Currently, Bevi machines allow users to choose different flavors or carbonation levels, but the company is working to develop machines that include temperature control, wider control over carbonation, and functional ingredients such as vitamins.
The company also hired Mario Payssé as national director of sales, national accounts, and channel partners. Payssé has previously held positions as east division director of sales at Primo Water Corporation and as a regional sales director at Starbucks.
“Definitely on the sales front and operations front we’re looking to hire people who have [beverage] industry experience,” Grundy said. “We want a mix of employees from top tech companies as well as real beverage industry veterans who know the ins and outs of the status quo business. I think that mix can be really powerful — to have that innovation mindset on the tech side as well as people who really know what they’re doing in the beverage industry.”
Calling customized drinks a new category that Bevi has the potential to “own,” Grundy is aiming to launch new models with increased customization in 2020.