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Josh Feuerstein, Mike Knuepfel, Andy Lynch, Darian Ahler, Kevin Ryan

$6M (Riverpark, Trailmix, FJ Labs)

We co-founded Truebird, initially Baca Coffee, in 2018 following a fundamental shift toward automation. As we dug into the coffee industry, we began to see two major opportunities: cost and efficiency. The structure of coffee in a retail context was driven largely by labor costs, with raw materials driving only a small fraction of the costs. This left providers with slim contribution margins. Meanwhile, in-store the coffee market in the US was booming, with more than 80% of Americans drinking coffee regularly and 400M cups consumed on average each day in the US. Although Truebird was related to a fundamental trend around automation, we believed that a social mission was possible: they had the opportunity to eventually own the supply chain in coffee and create a non-waste brand that paid farmers equitably. Now with more than 10 employees and $6M in funding, Truebird is building out its first units for commercial use, which will begin use during the Winter of 2020.

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