Frozen coffee startup Cometeer raises $ 35 million in latest fundraiser

Dive brief:

  • Frozen coffee startup Cometeer raised $ 35 million in a Series B funding round, bringing its total to $ 100 million, according to a press release emailed to Food Dive. The company creates frozen “packets” of concentrated coffee wrapped in aluminum capsules and dissolved in hot water to create the drink.
  • Institutional investors in this recent cycle include D1 Capital, Elephant, Tao Capital, Addition Ventures, Avenir, Greycroft and TQ Ventures. Other donors included a former president of Nespresso, the founder of Keurig Green Mountain and Scooter Braun, the manager of pop star Justin Bieber. Coinciding with the fundraising news, Cometeer announced that it is making its product available to the public through its website after completing its pilot program.
  • Founded in 2012, Cometeer is headquartered in Gloucester, Massachusetts, in a former frozen seafood factory. The coffee market has seen various innovations in recent years, but Cometeer’s use of frozen capsules and the promise of sustainability in its sourcing and packaging could help it stand out in hopes of expanding to a larger scale. ladder.

Dive overview:

Cometeer makes it clear that its coffee is not a concentrate, but rather an extract that contains the “best aromatics from every bean”. The coffee is brewed at 10 times the strength of a regular brew using less water. – frozen in rings with liquid nitrogen. The company claims that this method provides optimum flavor and ensures that none of its flavors are lost, compared to packaged grains which can lose their freshness sitting on shelves. Coffee rings can last three days in the refrigerator and up to three years in the freezer, according to Cometeer.

The sustainable packaging element gives Cometeer another reason to stand out. As the frozen puck dissolves in hot water, consumers can recycle the foil packaging without having to empty the coffee grounds, unlike a plastic pod.. Many coffee consumers moved away from plastic pods used in home brewing systems due to the difficulty of recycling them.

CEO Matt Roberts told Food Dive that the company has delayed the launch of its product for six to 12 months to ensure its aluminum capsules are “fully recyclable by curbside.” The aluminum in the capsules is made with the same alloy as beer and soda cans, he added.

Comet Aluminum capsules are designed to provide a more durable and user-friendly alternative to existing coffee pods. Anearly years of criticism from sustainable development groups, Keurig Dr Pepper announced last december that all of its Keurig K-cup pods are recyclable. However, to be properly recycled, consumers still need to empty the contents. Nestlé Nespresso aluminum pods can be recycled, but only at specific “collection points” that consumers can find on the brand’s app.

While energy is required to keep Cometeer’s product frozen, Roberts said the electricity to run the company’s freezer “at a unit level is incredibly low, and we hope we can power our factory out of the way.” network in the future “.

Beyond its commitment to sustainability, Cometeer sources coffee beans from a rotating group of eight different roasters in the United States, with two more being added this quarter. The company said it is committed to partnering with roasters who pay coffee producers “above the fair trade minimum.”

“We are focused on building a diverse group of roasting partners with unique backgrounds, sourcing techniques and roasting styles,” Roberts said in a statement. “Alongside these partners, we seek to support the de-commodification of the coffee industry is our mission.

Cometeer plans to use the last round of funding to expand its manufacturing capabilities in its 70,000 square foot plant, as well as to expand its number of partnerships with roasters.

The company is the latest food tech startup to attract investment as it seeks to develop a more sustainable coffee offering. Beyond the manufacturers of compostable or reusable coffee pods, it concerns in particular Atomo Coffee, which makes a “molecular” version of coffee without beans, and food technology company Voyage Foods, which plans to launch a ready-to-drink or liquid concentrate version of its reverse-engineered “coffee-free” beverage in early 2022.

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