SANTA CRUZ, CALIF. — Specialty coffee brand Steeped, Inc. raised $5 million in less than two days through its equity crowdfunding campaign at republic.com. More than 4,500 investors are backing the company, which has developed a brewing method using fully compostable, single-serve sachets that are similar to tea bags.
A Certified B Corporation, Steeped uses ethically sourced beans that are roasted in small batches and sealed to preserve freshness. The company has licensed its technology to hundreds of coffee brands and has national distribution in grocery stores, hotels and corporate offices. Steeped generated more than $1 million in revenue in the past 12 months.
Josh Wilbur, founder and chief executive officer, launched the concept to provide a sustainable and convenient alternative to single-serve brewing methods that require bulky, costly equipment or plastic pods.
“We had to innovate to account for a number of factors such as sourcing ethical and quality beans, getting the right grind size and density, maintaining the freshness of ground coffee, controlling the water permeability of the filter, and making sure everything we do is environmentally sustainable,” Mr. Wilbur said when the brand debuted five years ago. “Turns out there were a lot of challenges to overcome to make something this simple work.”Steeped previously raised more than $5 million in capital and is backed by a venture capital firm. The crowdfunding campaign reached its maximum funding goal; however, prospective contributors may join a wait list for the opportunity to invest, Mr. Wilbur said.