Plant-based milk has become a trend in recent years, and one of its most popular sources is almond. Numilk is a device that can help you produce fresh almond milk with simple ingredients. Founders Ari Tolwin and Joe Savino, appeared on season 12 of Shark Tank and scored a deal with Mark Cuban. As of 2024, Numilk is valued at $55 million.
Ari Tolwin and Joe Savino are from New York and both of them loved entrepreneurship growing up. Ari is an orthodox jew and has an MBA from Duke University. Savino has a BBA in Finance from the Lubin School of Business (Pace University).
The guys have strong experience working in the beverage industry. In 2013, Tolwin co-founded tree water provider, Happy Tree Maple Water and served as the CEO. In the same year, Savino co-founded the beverage contract packer Harvest Beverage Group.
However, the two decided to leave their respective companies after five years. They joined forces to launch a new business that aimed to produce plant-based milk.
Joe was the one who came up with the idea for a Numilk machine. Essentially, the device could make on-demand fresh almond milk. It only needs two ingredients: almonds and purified water. For a sweeter cup, maple syrup is added.
Customers simply need to grab a bottle, insert it into the faucet, and choose between sweetened and unsweetened options. In less than a minute, their drink will be ready. The Numilk machine’s retail price is $299.
The startup launched in 2018 and raised $12 million from investors to build out the concept. They spent $2 million but only made $40,000 in revenue. The following year, they made $320,000 but lost $3 million. In 2020, the business earned $400,000 but suffered a $2 million loss.
Shark Tank Appearance
Tolwin and Savino were struggling to scale their business off the ground. So, they planned to get help from wealthy investors on Shark Tank. They made their pitch in 2021, offering 5% equity for $1 million. Valuing their business at a cool $20 million was a bit expensive for some Sharks.
Apart from their original design, which was comparable to the size of two fridges. They also introduced the new and portable version, Numilk Home and it was priced at $199. The richest Shark, Mark Cuban, who is also a vegetarian, saw great potential in this.
Cuban made a $2 million offer and proposed that $1 million would be cash in exchange for 7% equity. The other half of the deal is a loan with 3% interest, Joe and Ari happily agreed.
After Shark Tank
Numilk started negotiating with Whole Foods after their Shark Tank episode. During this time, they also launched a Kickstarter campaign and raised over $222,000 from 888 backers. Their machines are now sold in 133 stores across the US with the majority of them located on the east coast.
On their website, the home version is available to pre-order for $249 and the pro version sells for $699. They’re looking to build more wholesale partners with grocery stores and coffee shops. In February 2021, Numilk got approved for a $212,005 PPP loan from Silicon Valley Bank which helped retain 9 jobs.
Numilk isn’t progressing as expected and has struggled with supply chain issues. Customers are getting impatient on Kickstarter as the comment section is full of people looking for a refund. In September 2022, Numilk agreed a deal with Hamilton Beach to manufacture the Home and Pro machines.
The latest sales figures haven’t been released for 2022 but it’s assumed Numilk is still losing money and is currently valued at $55 million. According to Linkedin, the company has 10 full-time employees! Hopefully, they haven’t blown through all of Mark Cuban’s investment!