Bevi, The Smart Water Dispenser, Raised $35M Series C. What’s Next?

If you watch HBO (TV series) “Silicon Valley”, you may have caught a glimpse of Bevi, a beautiful and high-tech smart water dispenser. In Jan. 2019, the Boston-based (MIT spinoff) startup announced their $35M Series C led by Bessemer Venture Partners, which brings their total funding to date to more than $63M. Existing investors also participated, such as Horizon Ventures and former Starbucks backer Trinity Ventures. Zillionize invested in seed round in Sept. 2014.

Silicon Valley: Season 5, Ep 3 – Chief Operating Officer
Bevi has been mission driven since day 1 to help eliminate waste from bottled beverages (another Zillionize portco GiveMeTap shares similar mission). Since the company’s founding in 2013, Bevi says they have diverted over 65 million bottles and cans from entering landfills and oceans, at over 30,000 bottles per machine annually.

Bevi is essentially LaCroix on tap and comes in 2 models: Standup and Countertop. It’s hooked up to an existing water line and filters water directly to provide still, sparkling and flavored water on demand, including lemon, lime mint, coconut, blueberry, cucumber and more 0 or low calorie choices from fruit essence. By 2020, these machines will have more customizable additions, Bevi CEO Grundy added. Some potential features include temperature control, wider control over carbonation, an option to add functional ingredients such as vitamins to the beverage and features that can help track hydration and nutrition.

Currently, Bevi has offices in Boston, SF, NYC, and Chicago, and its clientele includes more than 2000 corporate offices (like Microsoft, Apple and Lyft), startups (like Peloton), health care facilities (like Texas Medical Center and Danbury Hospital), universities, law firms, and financial service companies (like Fidelity). It’s rapidly expanding in metropolitan areas across U.S. (more than 30 states) and Canada.

Bevi also plans on hiring significantly this year to add at least 40 employees in innovation (software, hardware and customization options), operations, sales and marketing to its current staff of 90 people strong. “We’ve been recruiting executives from the best of the best in order to become one of the best ourselves,” Grundy says. Their notable executive hires since last year included COO out of Amazon, a VP of Hardware Engineering out of Boston Dynamics, a VP of Finance from Placester, and Sales Executive from PepsiCo and Starbucks.

Calling customized drinks a new category that Bevi has the potential to “own,” Grundy believes customization will play an important role in the beverage industry moving forward, pointing to PepsiCo’s $3.2 billion purchase of Israel-based SodaStream in late 2018. I remain excited to see Bevi continue building a meaningful brand to serve all their customers. If you want to have it at your place, please request here.

BTW, can someone help me understand what this quote means “I can smell that you were the gibbon”?

Chewse – Online Office Catering Service in California Raises $19M

Raising the total funding amount to $33.9M, Chewse – a San Francisco based online office catering service with corporate meal programs has bagged another $19M after going through its Series C funding round. The funding round was led by Foundry Group with participation from other investors including 500 Startups and Gingerbread Capital.

Chewse was added to our portfolio in 2014. In September 2015 and June 2017, Chewse went through Series A and Series B rounds respectively. Now, Chewse is serving Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco and Silicon Valley markets.

“We initially started with a contractor model but then very quickly started to realize our customers often mentioned the host or the driver in their feedback,” Chewse CEO and co-founder Tracy Lawrence told TechCrunch.

“I know there’s a lot of other companies that are like food tech or logistics but for us, it’s all about elevating and improving company culture,” Lawrence said. “We have technology but we’re investing in it to create an exceptional real-life experience.”

“On the tech side, we’re using a ton of machine learning and algorithms to learn what people like to eat and create custom meal schedules,” Lawrence said.

Please read the full story at TechCrunch.

ShipBob – Ecommerce Fulfillment Service Raises $40M in Series C

ShipBob Logo

Empowering small online businesses to offer 2-day shipping like Amazon, ShipBob – a modern e-commerce fulfillment service provider has raised a whooping $40M in Series C funding round led by Menlo Ventures, with participation from Bain Capital Ventures, Hyde Park Venture Partners, Hyde Park Angels and Y Combinator.

ShipBob was added to our portfolio in 2015. In 2016, it went for Series A and got $4M. Last year, it bagged $17.5M in Series B round. Adding the recent Series C amount, total funding amount obtained by ShipBob till date is $62.5M. These funding stats show a steady growth in ShipBob and we wish them best of luck with a successful future ahead.

The company was launched through Y Combinator in 2014 by CEO Dhruv Saxena and Divey Gulati, a pair of engineers that met after college.

“Once we graduated, we thought up this e-commerce store and we were able to automate basically everything in the operation except for shipping and logistics,” Saxena told TechCrunch. “We realized none of the existing solutions out there worked. So, we applied to Y Combinator with this idea that there has never been an easier time to start an e-commerce brand online and these brands need shipping, logistics and back office solutions.”

“We love how ShipBob lets smaller, creative merchants affordably offer fast shipping across the country,” Carolan said in a statement. “Customers want what they want, and they want it fast, and it takes serious technology to make it look easy.”

Please read the full story at TechCrunch.

Epic! – Digital Library for Kids Raises $8M in Series C

After raising $8M in Series B round almost 2 years ago, our portfolio startup Epic! – a leading digital library for kids has now raised another $8M in Series C funding round too which takes its total funding to $21.45M. The funding round was led by Reach Capital, with participation from Rakuten Ventures, Menlo Ventures, TransLink Capital, WI Harper, Brighteye Ventures, and Innovation Endeavors. Best of luck Epic!

Founded out of Palo Alto in 2014, Epic offers unlimited access to around 25,000 books for $5 per month. The content is targeted at those under 12 years of age and includes thousands of accompanying learning videos, quizzes, and reading lists. Epic claims that its service is used in 87 percent of U.S. elementary schools.

Up until now, Epic had raised around $13 million in funding, and with its latest cash injection the company plans to expedite its growth, add to its team, and build out its platform for both home subscribers and schools.

“We invested in Epic because of the excitement from teachers and children who were delighted by the platform. In classrooms all over, we saw Epic spark children’s love for reading and inspire them to share their learning with others. We were impressed with Epic’s ability to capture the hearts of educators, children, and parents and create a seamless connection between school and home learning.”, explained Reach Capital general partner Jennifer Carolan.

Please read full story at VentureBeat.