| US

Howard Schultz backs The Cumulus Coffee Company in $20.3m investment round

The former Starbucks CEO said consumers have ‘overwhelmingly’ switched to cold coffee with Cumulus’ premium cold brew coffee pod machine set to ‘raise the bar’ for at-home consumers

Cumulus’ at-home cold brew coffee pod machine will be released in Summer 2024 | Photo credit: The Cumulus Coffee Company


New York-based The Cumulus Coffee Company (Cumulus) has raised $20.3m to bring its at-home cold brew coffee pod machine to market, with former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz among investors. 

The machine, which will retail at $599 when released in Summer 2024, uses recyclable aluminum capsules to serve cold brew, nitro cold brew or cold-pressed espresso.  

Cumulus also sources and roasts its own coffee and will offer a range of six coffee pods available to order online from the end of the first quarter next year. 

“Coffee has experienced a significant shift over the past few years as consumers have overwhelmingly switched to cold coffee. Cumulus’ opportunity to bring premium cold coffee beverages to the home is simply enormous and will raise the bar for cold brew coffee everywhere,” Shultz said. 

Cumulus is Schultz’s first investment since stepping down from Starbucks’ Board of Directors in September 2023. He previously invested in Swedish oatmilk brand Oatly’s $200m raise in July 2020. 

“The cold coffee market is enormous, with 75% of US café drinkers now preferring cold over hot beverages. I am so proud of what we have accomplished and can't wait to share Cumulus’ coffee and its revolutionary machine with the world,” added Cumulus CEO Mesh Gelman. 

Gelman founded Cumulus in November 2022. He has six-years' experience working for Starbucks, initially as a Strategy Consultant before two-year spells as Senior Vice President of Retail lobby, Merchandise and Brand Partnerships and Senior Vice President of Siren Ideas – an entrepreneurial division credited with scaling Starbucks’ Reserve range and store network. 

Cumulus’ investment round was led by Valor Siren Ventures, a Chicago-based private equity firm specialising in food and retail technology. Its brand portfolio also includes New York bakery café chain Black Seed Bagels, dairy alternative brand Bored Cow and food-tech firm Voyage Foods, which is currently developing a synthetic coffee product following a $36m investment round in May 2022. 

Other investors include Maveron, a private equity firm founded by Schultz and investment banker Dan Levitan, venture capitalist business Linden Ventures, entrepreneur Carter Reum and US musician Ryan Tedder.  

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