Brownbag, a South Korea-based coffee retailer, is in fundraising talks with domestic and overseas investors to gear up marketing and sales activity of its newly developed smart coffee machine product this year, said CEO Son Jongsu.
The company will showcase the product this month and start distribution in South Korea in October, he said.
It has fully developed a cloud-based coffee machine with its own manpower and resources, he said. It will need capital further to promote the B2B sales activity as it plans to distribute the products to the US and Japan markets in 2023, he noted.
As such, the company has begun discussions with several investors including existing shareholders to raise KRW 20bn (USD 16.7m) in a Series A round, said Son. It will officially launch the round between the end of 2022 and early 2023 in line with the commercialization process. It does not plan to hire an advisor to this end, he added.
It welcomes global investors who would be interested in expanding the cloud coffee machine in the consumer industry, continued Son.
Its world’s first cloud coffee machine Brownbag Aware digitalizes the coffee extraction process by analyzing several necessary features such as temperature, water volume, pressure, size of coffee particles, and timing and exposes users to various types of coffee beans and chosen based on their own interest, he noted. It plans to penetrate the KRW 23tn global coffee machine market with its product, Son added.
The machine has an integrated touch screen, which is the size of an iPad, that offers a visual coffee-making experience to the user. The fully automatic coffee machine allows remote cleaning and the screen can showcase compatible food items available at nearby convenience stores while the coffee is brewing, he explained. Discussions with local store-chain operators for strategic partnerships are underway, he added.
Brownbag was considering raising a KRW 20bn – KRW 50bn in Series A round in 2H22 to reinforce its existing coffee subscription service and diversify the services, this news service earlier reported.
Going forward, Brownbag would be also interested in acquiring domestic companies that could advance the technological competence of its smart coffee machine, he said.
The company primarily focuses on coffee subscription services targeting corporate offices, as reported earlier. Serving more than 2,000 companies as of April 2022, it aims to increase the customer base to 5,000 by the end of this year, he said.
Brownbag targets to record KRW 10bn sales revenues with KRW 3bn operating profits this year upon the launch of its new product, Son stated.
by Jenny Lee in Seoul