by Crystal Rivera – CNBC.com
A start-up is crossing your coffee maker with your travel mug to create a mobile brewing machine that can deliver you a fresh cup of Joe just about anywhere.
"Mojoe is just like your coffee maker at home, except we've engineered a way to cram it inside of a travel mug," said Joseph Hyman, co-founder of Mojoe Brewing Company.
On the grind
Hyman's idea came from long nights spent studying in libraries without convenient access to freshly brewed coffee.
"I thought, why doesn't a mobile coffee maker exist? Why can't I brew coffee right here at the desk I'm studying at?" Hyman told CNBC.
So in February 2015, Hyman along with co-founder Alexandre Wing launched Mojoe Brewing Company.
"From the outside, Mojoe looks a lot like your standard travel thermos: Inside, it's a fully functioning coffee maker, taking you from water and grounds to fresh, piping-hot coffee or tea," said Wing.
Mojoe harnesses steam to extract and brew coffee directly inside the device. Just add coffee grounds to the filter, any temperature water, and power up via a wall outlet, car adapter or rechargeable battery.
The Mojoe mobile brewer retails for $89.99 on the company website. The start-up also offers its own brand of coffee in the form of To-Go Cups, which fit directly inside the brewer and are available through a monthly subscription starting at $9 per month.
To date the start-up has presold 1,211 units of its Mojoe mobile brewer, due out in November.
In the hot seat
Noting a crowded space dominated by coffee retail giants like Starbucks and Keurig, venture capitalist Nir Liberboim asked how Mojoe could set itself apart.
"Mojoe isn't here to replace your coffee maker, or Keurig at home on your kitchen counter," Wing replied. "Mojoe is here to extend your home brewed coffee experience on the go."
Wing said the start-up is solely targeting commuters and "travelers who are looking for that quality experience while they're away from home, and just people that are looking to spend less on their daily coffee habit."
David Wu, partner at venture capital firm Maveron, wondered if the start-up planned to expand its product line or turn its focus to a coffee subscription service model.
"The more units that coffee lovers are using means the more coffee that they're drinking," said Hyman, confirming that currently the start-up intends to build out it's coffee subscription platform rather than expand its suite of hardware devices. He spoke of other goals. "We've solved the solution for coffee on the go. Using that same design, we plan to solve the solution for foods, quick meals on the go as well," he said.
Since its launch the Baltimore start-up has raised $86,000 in crowd funding, and is currently entering its seed round of funding.
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