Agrifood Tech | September 5, 2019

Bellwether Coffee raises $40 million from DBL Partners and founders of SolarCity

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, September 5  Forget stale coffee. Berkeley, Calif.-based Bellwether Coffee wants to ensure that any business can have freshly roasted coffee in stock with its electric coffee roaster that can be installed in nearly any cafe or retail space. (The company touts its roaster as greener than standard gas-powered commercial roasters.)

If Bellwether’s product sounds like a solution to a very Bay Area-problem, the company is also tackling coffee’s supply chain transparency by sourcing beans for the businesses using its roasters and disclosing information about the coffee farms.

“[Bellwether] pays farmers prices that include ‘cost of sustainable production’. These are always higher than the commodity prices for coffee,” Nancy Pfund of impact investor DBL Partners told ImpactAlpha.

DBL and return investors Lyndon and Peter Rive, founders of SolarCity, led Bellwether’s $40 million Series B funding round. Pfund, who joined Bellwether’s board, said DBL was backing Bellwether to “accelerate the reduction of coffee’s carbon footprint and drive positive social impact across the supply chain.”

The funding follows a $10 million Series A round a year ago, and $6 million in seed funding before that.