Brumachen Before Shark Tank
Brumachen is a portable coffee brewing device that uses coffee pods like k-cups in order to brew one’s coffee while on the go. Their coffee pods are made from tree fiber and sugar cane, making them biodegradable. The Brumachen can be used by plugging the cord into the USB port in a car or truck. Once it’s plugged in, just pour some water into the Brumachen, place a coffee pod inside, and wait for the coffee to be done. The water gets heated once the button is pressed, and this whole process only takes about five minutes! Brumachen coffee pods come in a variety of flavors, such as Morning Blend, Donut Shop, Colombia, and French Roast.
Kweku Larbi and Ross Smith started Brumachen in 2019. Leading up to this business venture, Kweku studied to earn his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Cleveland State University. He graduated in 2016 while he was working as a civil engineering intern at Shook Construction Co. After college and the internship, Kweku founded his first company, The Green Board Organization. This is a platform that helps provide students with the chance to thrive in their education. During that time, the founder was also working with the DLZ Corporation, where he was responsible for being the structural engineer. He later became a civil engineer there.
Ross Smith, on the other hand, is a social media influencer and the co-founder of Brumachen. He currently has around 45 million followers combined across all his existing social media accounts. This may come in handy for the Brume business. Kweku and Ross launched Brumachen in December 2017 in the Indianapolis, Indiana, area. The idea for this portable coffee brewer was first thought up by Kweku while he was working in construction. Basically, he was looking for a way to get coffee one day; however, the nearest coffee shop was a long way away. This led him to wonder if there were a way to brew coffee while away from the house. There hadn’t been a product like this on the market, so Kweku decided to launch one himself.
With a basic idea of his product in mind, the founder created a prototype of the Brumachen brewer using his 3D printer. He then conducted a series of test trials to analyze how durable the brewer was. He even allowed some of his family and friends to test it out; they all had positive feedback to report back to him. This encouraged Kweku to try launching the product on the market. Once he was happy with the design, he made his official prototype and began searching for potential manufacturers.
The biggest problem Kweku and Ross encountered during the launch of Brumachen was their lack of capital. This made it much more difficult to grow the business further. Now, while a shark could certainly provide some assistance with this, the founders decided to try a Kickstarter campaign first. The campaign ended at the beginning of January 2021, gaining them $41,553 and about 470 backers. While this certainly gives them a boost in getting their business off the ground, they may still need the help of a shark. Due to this, Kweku and Ross will be making an appearance in the Shark Tank.
Brumachen on Shark Tank
Kweku Larbi and Ross Smith visit the Shark Tank during season 12, episode 11, with their Brumachen portable coffee brewer. The founders are seeking a deal for $1 million with a 10% stake in Brumachen in return. They believe that their business has an estimated valuation of $10 million at the time of filming. The founders pitched their coffee brewer to the sharks, which went great. They shared a story of how they created the Brumachen, as well as how it may be better than the alternatives. Ross added that, as a social media influencer, he gained the attention of about 100 million people when seen with this product.
The Brumachen portable coffee brewer costs the founders $38 to manufacture before they retail it for $120. Kweku and Ross shared that their profits are around 60%; however, they have done less than $50,000 in sales since they launched their business. This information did not sit well with the sharks. Kevin O’Leary, Mark Cuban, and Robert Herjavec all agreed that the business was not worth the $10 million valuation that the founders claim it is. They are confused with how this valuation has been determined when Brumachen has so few sales on the books. And Kevin made a comment, jokingly referring to the business as “complete stupidity.” Guest shark, Daniel Lubetzky, says that he likes the concept of the product but can’t invest in it. Lori Greiner was another shark that didn’t agree with the valuation. Regardless of whether it was accurate or not, she felt that it was too high for her. Thus, leaving Kweku Larbi and Ross Smith to leave the tank without a contract for Brumachen.
Brumachen Now in 2024 – The After Shark Tank Update
Ultimately, Brumachen was unable to secure a deal with a shark during their Shark Tank visit, but their company website is still running, so they must remain in business. Nonetheless, the company did face some backlash after the Shark Tank episode concluded. Following the sales gained from their Kickstarter campaign prior to appearing on the show, there have been many reports of buyers not receiving the products at all. Additionally, some of the 470 backers Brumachen gained from this campaign had negative feedback to share with the founders as the Brumachen portable coffee brewers showed up damaged and broken. Unfortunately, when those backers attempted to report this to the founders, they didn’t receive any sort of response back.
In July 2022, many believed that the Brumachen business had gone out of business due to a lack of inventory on their website. Around the same time, research found that Ross Smith’s social media accounts hadn’t seen any activity in a while as well. All this suggests that they may have gone out of business. However, as of January [this year], their website appeared to be restocked, but there has not been any information regarding any recent sales numbers. As for the founder, Kweku Larbi, he has been inactive on his LinkedIn account. Though there is a new addition to his list of experiences, It appears that Kweku has launched a new business, Baxter Wood Company, as of December 2018. He is listed as the founder and creative director. Given the information in this update on Brumachen, it’s unclear if the business is still going or if the founders have moved on to new business ventures.