Plant-based milk has become a trend in recent years, and one of its most popular sources is almond. A device named Numilk can help you produce fresh almond milk with simple ingredients. Its creators are Ari Tolwin and Joe Savino, who successfully pitched their business on Shark Tank. As of 2023, Numilk is valued at $55 million.
About the Founders
Ari Tolwin and Joe Savino are from New York, United States. Both of them loved entrepreneurship growing up. Ari has an MBA from Duke University, and Joe has a BBA from the Lubin School of Business.
They both have strong experience working in the beverage industry. In 2013, Tolwin co-founded tree water provider Happy Tree Maple Water and became its 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 roughly five years. They joined forces to launch a new business that aimed to produce plant-based milk.
Establishing the Company
Joe was the one who came up with the 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.
When the startup launched in 2018, it raised $12 million from investors to build out the concept. They spent $2 million but only made $40,000. 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 was priced at $199. The richest Shark, Mark Cuban, who is also a vegetarian, saw great potential in this.
So, 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 selling in 65 stores across the US. On their website, the home version of their product is also available for pre-order. They’re also looking to build more partnerships with grocery stores and coffee shops.
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 announced they agreed on a deal with Hamilton Beach for them 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 the company is currently valued at $55 million. Hopefully, they haven’t blown through all of Mark Cuban’s investment!