“With Numilk, you make your own delicious clean plant-based milks, lattes and protein-based shakes in less than a minute. Better tasting, better for you, and better for the planet.”
On March 26, billionaire Mark Cuban invested $2 million in a company called Numilk, which has made a DIY vegan milk machine.
The deal was finalized after the company pitched its idea on ABC’s Shark Tank.
Founded by entrepreneurs Ari Tolwin and Joe Savino in 2018, Numilk manufactures kiosk-style machines for stores that allow consumers to make fresh plant-based milks in 30 seconds.
Apart from machines for grocery stores, the duo has also developed Numilk Professional countertop units for cafes and coffee shops, and this summer, they plan to roll out a smaller, countertop unit for in-home use.
According to the pair, the machines serve as healthy alternatives to pre-packaged plant-based milks, many of which can contain additives like gums and emulsifiers.
Both the professional units and the at-home machines make a variety of drinks like almond milk, oat milk, matcha lattes, and protein shakes using Numilk’s pre-filled ingredient pouches.
The resulting milk, which can be dispensed into a reusable bottle has a 90 % lower carbon footprint compared to pre-packaged milks and also helps cut waste from single-use bottles.
“We took our grocery machine and we shrunk it down so it works on your countertops,” Tolwin said of its latest Numilk Home unit.
According to the duo: “With Numilk, you make your own delicious clean plant-based milks, lattes, and protein-based shakes in less than a minute.
“And we promise you’ll be astonished at the delicious, creamy taste. Introducing Numilk. Better tasting, better for you, and better for the planet.”
The company also launched a Kickstarter campaign to promote its latest in-home machine and has raised already around $60,000 more than its $100,000 goal.
The Shark Tank investors were particularly interested in the home unit with Shark Daymond John stating: “That right there is a necessity for the family, I think.”
To strike a deal, Tolwin and Savino pitched for a $1 million investment for 5% stakes, which would be a $20 million company valuation. However, Cuban, who wasn’t satisfied eked out an investment plan.
He offered to give the duo $1 million for 7 % equity and an optional $1 million loan at a 3% interest along with an additional 3% stake in advisory shares.
He said: “If you don’t use the loan, you don’t have to give me the additional 3%. So in total, if you use all the capital, it’s $2 million for 10 percent.”
The Home machine costs $199 and is now available for pre-order with estimated delivery in August.
Cuban expands vegan investment portfolio
Numilk is the latest and the largest vegan investment Cuban has made on Shark Tank to date.
The Dallas Maverick’s owner has already built an extensive portfolio of vegan brands, the most recent being Black-owned plant-based meat brand Everything Legendary, which netted a $300,000 deal after appearing on ABC’s Shark Tank earlier this month.
Other plant-based brands including Wild Earth, Mrs. Goldfarb’s Unreal Deli, Delighted by Hummus, Pan’s Mushroom Jerky, and several others also feature in Cuban’s growing list.
- Read: Robert Downey Jr. announces venture funds to save the planet, invests $10 million of own money
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