How Bellwether Coffee Is Transforming The Way Coffee Is Roasted

By Amit Chowdhry ● September 9, 2019
  • Bellwether Coffee — the company transforming the way coffee is roasted — recently announced that it closed $40 million in Series B funding led by DBL Partners and Lyndon Rive and Peter Rive

Bellwether Coffee — the company transforming the way coffee is roasted, distributed and sold — recently announced that it closed a $40 million Series B round of funding led by DBL Partners and brothers Lyndon Rive and Peter Rive. And FusionX, Congruent Ventures, Coffee Bell, Tandem Capital, Spindrift Equities, XN Ventures, Balius Partners, and Hardware Club also joined the round.

Bellwether’s — which had its commercial roaster won the industry’s Best New Product award earlier this year — is known for making coffee roasting emissions-free and easily accessible to cafes and grocery stores. Traditional coffee roasters are known to be expensive and difficult to permit and install while often requiring natural gas lines and complicated venting systems. The electric Bellwether Roaster is simple to operate and can be placed in any location and it provides the immediate benefits of freshly roasted coffee at a lower cost. The roaster is ventless, electric, and easier to install than most espresso machines. Plus it operates via an intuitive iPad app that does not require any previous roasting experience.

The Internet-connected Bellwether Roaster provides customers access to the world of coffee, where they can execute award-winning roast profiles (or create their own) exactly as intended, no matter the operator, location or environment. Plus the platform provides access to a curated marketplace of green coffee from farms around the world, inventory management tools, and data analytics from its connected software.

Ever since its electric roaster domestically launched last year, Bellwether Coffee has seen significant demand from some of the nation’s best coffee retailers, cafes, local grocers, national chains, and on average is installing a roaster per day across the US.

This round of funding is announced as coffee is the world’s most popular beverage with more than 400 million cups per day consumed in the US alone with over 60% of those being specialty coffee, according to the National Coffee Association.

“We are thrilled to be working closely with DBL, Lyndon and Peter Rive to help accelerate our already rapid growth,” said Bellwether’s CEO Nathan Gilliland. “We expect in-store roasting at cafes and grocery locations to become the rule, not the exception. We are proud that the Bellwether Roaster has become the most consistent and controllable commercial coffee roaster available.” In addition to meeting global demand for its roaster, Bellwether is also concentrating its efforts on two main areas of social impact: increasing incomes for coffee farmers and eliminating roast processes that are harmful to our planet.

As coffee has long been tied to having an outsized carbon footprint, the electric Bellwether Roaster reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 90% versus traditional gas-powered alternatives. Rather than green, unroasted coffee being shipped to centralized coffee roasting facilities and then shipped to retailers, Bellwether enables its customers to roast on-site—no gas lines or ventilation required.

And the result is a fresher, higher-value coffee product for customers, increased profit for coffee retailers, a reduced impact on our planet, and more money going to those at the beginning of the coffee supply chain—farmers.

“Bellwether completely changes how coffee is roasted and distributed,” explained Lyndon Rive — who is joining Bellwether’s board of directors. “We are thrilled to co-lead this round to help Bellwether’s outstanding team meet its rapid growth in global demand.”

Lyndon Rive is known as the co-founder of SolarCity (acquired by Tesla Motors in 2016). Before that, he was the co-founder and a VP at Everdream (acquired by Dell in 2007).

DBL Partners founder and managing partner Nancy Pfund is joining Bellwether’s board of directors.

“DBL is pleased to work with Bellwether Coffee to accelerate the reduction of coffee’s carbon footprint and drive positive social impact across the supply chain, all while offering consumers a higher quality coffee experience,” added DBL Partners founder and managing partner Nancy Pfund. “Whether it is cars or coffee, the move to electricity away from fossil fuels whets consumers’ appetite for a planet-friendly, premium product, creating large, high-growth markets in the process.”