Feniks Inc. Acquires Rubi Coffee Kiosk Business, Plans To Work With Vending Operators

Posted On: 4/3/2014

  • Printer Friendly Version
  • Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text Size
  • PDF

TAGS: Rubi coffee vending machine, Outerwall, Redbox, Coinstar, Rubi coffee kiosk acquisition, vending, Feniks Inc., Jim Craig, Travis Pierce, Doug Coppenbarger, Rubi Micro-Café, Joel Espelien, automated retailing, Crane Merchandising Systems

Rubi coffee vending machine SEATTLE -- A food tech startup here has acquired the assets from Outerwall's Rubi coffee kiosk business. The deal includes the Rubi brand name, technology and associated intellectual property, along with the completed inventory of Rubi coffee kiosks. The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Feniks Inc., Rubi's new owner, was founded earlier this year by Jim Craig, Travis Pierce and Doug Coppenbarger -- three former leaders of the Rubi kiosk product team at Outerwall, which operates Redbox DVD kiosks and Coinstar coin-counting machines.

Feniks has raised $1.5 million in seed funding to relaunch the Rubi Micro-Café over the next two months and said it plans to work closely with vending operators around the country to deploy Rubi in retail stores, college campuses, hospitals and workplaces.

Feniks has hired Joel Espelien as vice-president of corporate development and general counsel. Espelien is a well-known member of the Seattle startup community, serving as executive at PacketVideo, board member at IQ Engines (acquired by Yahoo) and 640 Labs, as well as being an active angel investor.

"Our work on the Rubi Micro-Café over the past few years has successfully demonstrated the demand for a next-generation coffee kiosk that delivers a premium-quality product with an elevated user experience," said Feniks chief executive Jim Craig. "With consumers spending over $18 billion each year on coffee away from home, we are incredibly excited to continue developing the Rubi platform and bringing great coffee to new places where it is currently hard to find."

The Rubi Micro-Café grinds whole beans and brews each cup on demand using French press technology. Customers use a large tablet-style interactive touchscreen to customize their drinks, order and pay. Machines connect to the Internet to provide real-time status updates.

Outerwall announced in December that it was discontinuing its Rubi business, along with two other new ventures, Crisp Market food kiosks and Star Studio photobooths. | READ MORE

The company, when it was Coinstar, announced in June 2012 that it planned to roll out Rubi kiosks to sell Starbucks Corp.'s Seattle's Best Coffee. Idea was to place them in grocery, drug and mass merchant retail channels, the same locations where its and Redbox and Coinstar machines are placed.