Commonwealth Joe Raises $4M In Funding To Invest In Kegerator Vending Machines

Posted On: 5/2/2019

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ARLINGTON, VA -- Commonwealth Joe Coffee Roasters (CWJ) said it has closed $1.2 million on a $4 million funding round aimed at fueling growth through continued deployment of San Diego, CA-based Smart Beverage Technologies' (SBT's) Kegerator Vending Machines (KVMs). | READ MORE
The round is primarily composed of existing investors, including Stroud Cos., Mendacre and Knight Group Investments. Arlington, VA-based CWJ said it will use the capital to finance the production and deployment of KVMs in its existing and new geographic markets and customer channels.
After establishing its retail and wholesale businesses, CWJ focused on building its office coffee segment in 2017 and has become a leading provider of nitro cold brew coffee for offices in the Mid-Atlantic. CWJ has since expanded it offering to deliver kombucha kegs.
Earlier financing, including a Series A in 2018, was used to build the infrastructure to support in-house production and distribution and scale across the Mid-Atlantic to service major markets, including the New York City Tri-State area, Philadelphia and Baltimore.
The $4 million raised in this round will be used to fuel CWJ's continued growth in vending, as the tech-enabled coffee brand develops closer ties with SBT, the inventor of the KVM, and continues to take a "vending-first approach" with its coffee program sales strategy.
Officials said vending is a major focus as more consumers seek variety and convenience in their craft beverage options. In addition, vending allows CWJ customers to share or transfer the cost of craft beverages with their employees or tenants, eliminating any budget constraints previously acting as a barrier to working with CWJ. The KVM, the company explained, is essentially acting as a gas pump and only charging the end-user for the amount of liquid dispensed.
The KVM's telemetry capabilities also provide CWJ and its customers with a rich amount of real-time data on consumption habits, up-time and inventory depletion. Aside from building out a vertically integrated business from roasting to cold brew production to cold chain distribution and equipment servicing, CWJ said it is developing proprietary software to leverage the KVM's real-time telemetry data to further elevate the experience for CWJ customers through features like digital payments, automatic reordering, maintenance issue identification, and service ticket creation.