Rocean, a New York City-based company that is able to reduce single-use beverage consumption by filtering, carbonating, flavoring, and enhancing tap water, announced it has raised $6 million in funding to transform the bottled water industry with its Rocean One smart water countertop device.
“When we started Rocean, we knew we were building more than a device. We’re building a platform with the same breadth of options as the entire bottled water industry,” said Rocean founder and CEO Sunjay Guleria in a statement. “Consumers are drinking bottled water that is filtered, carbonated, flavored, and enhanced with everything from CBD to caffeine. They won’t give up the bottle easily. If we want to fight climate change, we need to give consumers all of their favorite beverages without the waste of packaging and shipping them around the world.”
This funding round was led by investment firm Blue. Additional investors in this round include John Legend (artist and activist), Black Coffee (world-renowned DJ), Reshma Saujani (Girls Who Code founder), Phil Molyneux (former Sony and Dyson president), Peter Carlsson (former supply chain head of Tesla Motors), and Rohan Oza (former CMO of VitaminWater).
“As the owner of Bluewater, which globally markets leading-edge water purifiers for home, commercial and public use, we’re inspired by how Rocean is redefining the way US consumers connect with their changing hydration needs,” explained Blue co-founder and CEO Anders Jacobson. “Our global addiction to bottled water is dramatically-increasing our carbon footprint when the need to fight climate change has never been more urgent. In the Rocean team and product, we see a clear solution to address a massive challenge.”The amount of energy required to manufacture, transport, store, refrigerate, and dispose of plastic bottles every year is equivalent to more than 450 million barrels of oil — which is enough to fuel more than 25 million vehicles for a while year.
The multi-use pods made by Rocean gives users an endless selection of natural fruit flavors, supplements, and enhancements at a fraction of the cost and total carbon footprint of pre-packaged beverages. And its patent-pending micro-dosing system is able to support two pods at once. This allows users to mix their favorite flavors and enhancements to their personal preferences. The Rocean One sits on a countertop at 5” deep and it is built with high-quality and sustainable materials such as recycled bamboo. The first Rocean One units will start shipping in late summer 2019.
“We believe that personalization is going to drive the same level of innovation as seen in the digital music industry. By giving users full control over their beverages, the Rocean One brings hundreds of thousands of water-based beverage combinations to the common tap,” added Rocean co-founder and chief scientist Lee M von Kraus, PhD. “Whether electrolytes, natural turmeric for energy, or something that hasn’t been thought of, you can make it with Rocean One It’s ‘future-trend’ proof.”
The company pointed out that the bottled water industry is expected to reach $334 billion by 2023. And the market for sparkling water is up 54% in the past four years. This growth is attributed to a growing selection of water varieties like sparkling, flavored, and enhanced beverages.
“I was inspired by the iconic architecture of the Roman aqueducts and how they solved the problem of transporting water many centuries ago,” Rocean co-founder and chief creative officer Mohini Boparai noted. “The final product is a reflection of our connection to fresh water – and the potential for human ingenuity to do more with it.”