Sustainable coffee maker Steeped raises $5M through crowdfunding

Dive Brief:

  • Steeped Coffee raised $5 million from more than 4,500 investors through a crowdfunding campaign in less than 48 hours, the company said in a statement. The single-serve coffee product maker has since launched another funding round.
  • Steeped said the money it raised will go toward bringing its compostable brewing method to more coffee drinkers. 
  • The coffee company has carved out a growing niche in the beverage space with its sustainable packaging and innovative brewing method that is similar to steeping tea and requires no machines.

Dive Insight:

As consumers place a premium on companies who value the greater good as much or more than profits, those that can bring these attributes to a popular product like coffee tend to be well received by shoppers.

While little is known about sales and growth at Steeped, the fact that the coffee company reached its fundraising goal in less than two days underscores the importance that people see in a sustainable coffee business. Many of the investors are likely consumers of Steeped and they could be outspoken ambassadors of the brand to friends, family and people online, which will only help to further support its growth.

From regenerative agriculture, recyclable packaging and getting more of their energy from renewable sources, food and beverage makers are embracing a large swath of options when it comes to sustainability.

The coffee space has been ripe for change, particularly with single-serve pods being criticized for the waste they create. Steeped, which uses ethically sourced beans for its coffee, said its tea bag-like packaging is made with renewable plant-based materials and doesn’t include waste like staples. The California company also is a Certified B Corp, which tells consumers the company adheres to standards and values including transparency and accountability.

While upstarts like Steeped have made sustainability a key pillar of their brand, large coffee brands such as Keurig and Nespresso have taken notice as well. Since the end of 2020, all of the billions of Keurig K-Cup pods used annually are recyclable, the culmination of years of testing and development. And Nespresso, part of Nestlé, allows consumers to return their capsules where the aluminum is reused and the coffee grounds composted into nutrient-rich topsoil.