Seattle startup Bean Box raises $2.4M as pandemic fuels demand for specialty coffee at home

(Bean Box Photo) New funding: Bean Box, the Seattle startup that delivers top quality espresso…

Seattle startup Bean Box raises $2.4M as pandemic fuels demand for specialty coffee at home
(Bean Box Photo)

New funding: Bean Box, the Seattle startup that delivers top quality espresso from impartial roasters, has elevated $2.4 million in new funding as component of a Collection A round.

The corporation: Established in 2014 by Matthew Berk and Ryan Fritzky, Bean Box offers espresso merchandise from 40 top rated-rated, compact-batch roasters, to make people goods obtainable to more folks at property. The startup seeks to convey cafe culture to persons at scale, using human and algorithmic strategies to choose coffees that are personalized to customers’ preferences.

Growth: Berk, the CEO, said year-more than-year progress has been approaching 200% and Bean Box’s gross margin is now above 40%. The company’s subscriber count far more than doubled final calendar year and is rising even quicker now, Berk claimed.

Bean Box, which employs 20 men and women, is introducing about two roasters a month and has began to expand beyond the Pacific Northwest with new associates these types of as Los Angeles-dependent Klatch Espresso and Boulder, Colo.-primarily based Dragonfly Coffee.

Bean Box also has an exceptional romance with Cup of Excellence, a leading specialty coffee opposition, and a couple of instances a 12 months buys winning coffees at auction. Berk mentioned in some conditions, Bean Box has been the only espresso enterprise in the U.S. offering individuals microlots.

Pandemic effects: The company’s key problem during the past year has been changing to adjustments in the operational landscape, including restrictions on men and women and place to sustain safety, as effectively as provide chain troubles.

“Thankfully, we have been investing in automation, achievement technological know-how, and our source chain above the previous five years, and that genuinely compensated off for us,” Berk mentioned. “With a lot more folks doing the job from residence, need for terrific espresso has skyrocketed, and our subscriber base has grown tremendously.

“The pandemic essentially flipped the swap on our investment speculation,” Berk additional. “That demand from customers for specialty espresso — the quickest-growing phase of the U.S. coffee market place — would change from retail to the household.”

Investors: Kirby Winfield’s Ascend.VC, a longtime supporter of Bean Box, led the spherical, with a number of other latest traders, primarily persons, taking part. Bean Box earlier lifted $3.2 million in seed funding.

The startup will use the new hard cash for strategic growth — investing in its coffee membership business and hiring senior leaders in advertising and marketing, engineering and functions.

“We had a profitable 2020,” Berk explained. “Having been tremendous disciplined about developing the small business, we arrived to the decision that not deploying expansion capital at this stage would be fiscally irresponsible. It’s a good place to be.”

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