Tag: Brewbot

Brewbot Raises $1.5 Million in a Seed Round of Funding

Brewbot team, courtesy photo

Brewbot team, courtesy photo

Brewbot, a Techstars Austin startup, just landed $1.5 million in seed stage funding.

The company raised the money from Brad Feld, Bebo Founder and CEO Michael Birch and Federico Pirzio-Biroli, an angel investor in London, Boulder VC Bullet Time Ventures, Hallett Capital and a new fund in Northern Ireland, TechStart NI and SparkLabs Global. The company also raised part of its investment from Angel List.

“Not only have we gained investors, we’ve gained the experiences of people in the manufacturing, food and drink, engineering, and software industries,” Brewbot’s CEO Chris McClelland, said in a blog post. “As we embark on a world that’s at the intersection of old and new industries this experience adds serious value to our business.”

The company, founded by five friends from Belfast, Northern Ireland, makes a personal home brewing robot.

Brewbot has a mobile phone app and specialized hardware machine that lets people chose a recipe and ingredients to brew beer in its home brewing robot. It works for everyone from master brewers to novices.

143227-201309 BrewBot 050 - by Simon Mills-83654d-original-1412077377The Brewbot costs $3,000 and it can be customized.

“Brewbot’s app features a recipe platform that allows anyone to download or create a recipe so that they can brew a beer of any style. Brewbot takes care of the temperatures, timings and volumes, allowing you to follow along on the app as water is turned into beer,” according to a Brewbot blog post. “In order to achieve this, the Brewbot team have developed a new data and visual format that they call the ‘DNA of Beer’. This format opens up the reproduction and collaboration of beer recipes, giving brewers the opportunity to share and distribute their beer globally without even shipping a bottle.”

Brewbot also raised more than $194,000 from a successful Kickstarter campaign last year,

Brewbot, Vaporshot and Other Tech Gadgets at Engadget Austin Live

McClellendon, CEO of Brewbot.

Chris McClellendon, CEO of Brewbot at Engadget Live Austin.

A big crowd turned out for Engadget Live Austin held last Friday to showcase some of the city’s latest tech products.

A customized beer brewing station controlled with a smartphone, a vaporized alcohol machine and a virtual reality Oculus Rift headset were a few of the devices on display at the Austin Music Hall.

Engadget, an online technology news site, is doing a series of live events around the country to showcase new gadgets, said Jeff Taylor with Engadget. More than 3,000 people got a ticket to attend the Austin event.

Other events will be held in Seattle, Boston, Los Angeles and New York.

Austin-based startups at the event included Atlas, which makes a wearable activity monitor, Chaotic Moon, maker of all kinds of software and hardware inventions, Brewbot, a robot that brews beer, Re3D, a 3D printer, Plum, a smart home lighting control device and Techjango, maker of a laptop Xbox gaming station.

The Brewbot booth attracted a steady crowd. It featured the Brewbot, a customized beer brewing device that can be controlled wirelessly with a smart phone. It’s about the size of a mini-frig and it contains everything necessary to brew homemade beer.
Brewbot moved to Austin from Belfast, Northern Ireland to participate in Techstars Austin, said Chris McClelland, its CEO.

The Brewbot costs $3,000 and they can be customized to meet the needs of the customer, McClelland said.

“It’s a robot that brews beer,” McClelland said.

Brewbot, which raised more than $194,000 from a successful Kickstarter campaign last year, is working on a venture-funding round, which the company will announce shortly.

The year old startup moved all five members of its team to Austin.

The line to sample vaporized alcohol from Vapshot was among the longest at the event.

A guy trying out Vapshot's vaporized alcohol shot at Engadget Live Austin.

A guy trying out Vapshot’s vaporized alcohol shot at Engadget Live Austin.

Victor Wong, co-founder of Vapshot, came up with the idea during a “boring weekend” last February. He got together with his friend and engineer, Larry Cotton, co-founder, and they created the Vapshot. They took the machine to a tradeshow in Las Vegas and sold $70,000 worth of the machines, which cost $4,000 each.

“We started shipping them last week,” Wong said.

The machine vaporizes alcohol into a bottle, which people then inhale with a straw. The Vapshot delivers alcohol into the lungs for an immediate buzz, which Wong estimates lasts only 15 minutes.

Vapshot is selling the machine to bars licensed to sell and distribute alcohol, Wong said. The machine can get 1,500 vaporized shots out of bottle of liquor, compared to about 20 shots in liquid form.

The Chaotic Moon booth at Engadget Live Austin

The Chaotic Moon booth at Engadget Live Austin

The line for Chaotic Moon’s demonstration stretched to the door. The company had an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset for 3D gaming interacting with an iPad app, which Chaotic Moon created. The person controlling the iPad used it to drop bombs on the person playing the Oculus Rift game.

The mash up isn’t anything Chaotic Moon plans to sell, said Chance Ivey, the company’s lead game designer.

“We look at how we can utilize it with other technologies we’ve been working with,” he said.

Techstars Austin Unveils its Second Class

logo@2xA Longhorn Startup company, Burpy, is among the latest crop of Techstars Austin companies selected to participate in its three month long accelerator.

Burpy, founded by a group of UT undergraduates and led by Aseem Ali, is an online grocery delivery business available in Austin, San Antonio, Houston and Dallas.

The other team from Austin is Experiment Engine, which runs split tests for companies by a panel of experts. The rest of the teams come from New York City, Brooklyn, Birmingham, Blacksburg, Phoenix, Marina del Rey, San Diego, Belfast and London. The 11 Techstars Austin teams are an electric group ranging from Brewbot, a beer brewing robot to Pivot Freight, a rate comparison engine for freight shipping. Techstars selected them from more than 1,500 applicants.

Smart Host, the team from New York, won the 2014 Startup Bus competition at Rackspace just before SXSW. The company created an app that aggregates and analyzes the short-term rental market from sites like HomeAway and AirBnB so a person renting out their place can price it correctly.

The program kicked off Monday and will run through Sept. 3rd when it will host its demo day, according to Jason Seats, the program’s managing director.

“Heading into the second program in Austin, we’re fortunate to have many of our 2013 Austin alumni on the ground as well as almost 100 incredible mentors,” Seats wrote in a blog post announcing the latest class on the Techstars website.

Each of the companies selected gets $18,000 in seed funding and are offered a $100,000 convertible note. They also get perks such as free website hosting and office space. When the program ends, many of the companies go on to raise money from angel investors and venture capitalists.

The Techstars Summer 2014 Austin class:

Brewbot – A beer brewing robot controlled and monitored by your smartphone.

Burpy – Delivering same-day groceries and home essentials from a variety of local stores.

Cloud66 – Deploy and manage Ruby apps on any cloud.

Common Form – Do your taxes in 5 minutes from your pc or mobile device.

Experiment Engine – A/B testing with a marketplace of conversion experts.

Fashion Metric – Using big data to enhance fit and sizing for apparel retailers and brands.

Free Textbooks – Equips student influencers with software to replace their bookstore.

LawnStarter – The easiest way to order and manage lawn care.

NMRKT – Powering eCommerce for blogs, online magazines, and content creators.

Pivot Freight – Rate comparison engine and discount broker for freight shipping.

Smart Host – Intelligently price your short-term and vacation rental.

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