Business Update - December 2022
by Bart van de Kooij, on Dec 1, 2022 10:55:54 PM
In the past months, the economy has changed significantly and everyone is impacted by it. Our team in China still faced lockdowns, while the rest of the restrictions in Europa were lifted. Unfortunately, this has not made our job easier and presented some hard challenges that we’ve had to find ways to try to solve. However, even though these have been trying times and things have taken longer than we hoped, our shareholders gave us a huge boost of support, by investing a further 1.3 million euro! Ensure we are better prepared for any further global economic downturns in the (near) future and that we can better solidify our supplier relationships. We literally just closed this funding round and couldn’t be more happy. Below an update on the most relevant issues.
Raised 1.3 Million Euro & GEN 3 Production Update
In mid 2020, the company raised €850.000 to order the GEN 2 and run the operation. End of 2021, another €265.000 was reserved for the first down payment on the GEN 3. In the process of updating the design based on customer feedback and buying materials the required capital went up to €600.000 due to global inflation which led to increased raw material prices, dollar appreciation (highest level since 2000) and continuously changing conditions at various suppliers suffering under the strict lockdown regime in China. We tried to renegotiate the price, but current reality shows that we don’t have a large order (buying) history with each supplier putting us at the bottom of the ladder. We considered switching suppliers for some components, however realised that it might bring severe production risks and require an update in certification that could cause a delay in assembly.
Because of this, we were forced to look for alternative financing solutions to ensure we could meet the more stringent demands in time. However as you can imagine in the current financial climate, many options were not accessible and it became necessary to find a solution with our shareholders. Since we also need to improve our planning to further prepare for a potential global economic downturn this in turn took a few iterations longer than we hoped. In the end, luckily our shareholders gave us a huge vote of confidence by not only approving our improved plans forward, but also by directly supporting our growth with a further €1.3 million!
This allows us to meet the more stringent demands and further cement relationships with our key suppliers. Due to this delay however, we unfortunately missed the payment window for securing the deliveries of GEN 3 in our previously planned timeline and at same time our suppliers had no other option but to accept other projects in their pipeline and commit time to manufacture for them. This in combination with production now having to carry over the Chinese new year, unfortunately resulted in a more significant delay than would be expected. Which means that we now expect to be able to deliver likely no earlier than Q2 2023, which is a big setback for us and of course for many of you who were looking forward to starting using your brand new MiniBrew GEN 3 soon .
We are still trying our best to see if there are any other ways that we can speed this up, but due to the continuous stringent lockdowns in and around various key suppliers in China, there has been significantly less personnel available, in turn giving us less leeway to find ways to mitigate this delay. Next to this lots of factories have to deal with implementing and working under strict safety restrictions that took time to implement and slowed throughput.
However, to try our utmost best and secure our position with our suppliers. For example, I will personally be flying to China (which is finally allowed again) to negotiate and see if we can improve our timelines. Secondly, we are buying certain components at a spot-buy market (at a higher cost) to avoid any longer lead times.
GEN 2 Delivery update & 10.000th recipe brewed!
This year we delivered all GEN 2 orders and at the end of September, we received the remaining 300 Smart Kegs and spare parts. This has led to an all time high of brewing beer in the community.
As of today over 10.000 recipes! have been made by users and more than 277.000 glasses of beer have been brewed. This is a huge big milestone that we’re happy to have achieved with our active beer brewing community!
Cheers to very red, very cherry, very nice made beer by Minibrew user Paul Gunn
Without you this wouldn’t have been possible and we look forward to keep growing and improving our brewing community services & applications in the best ways possible. Thank you for being awesome and supporting us on this journey of making beer brewing accessible to everyone! Our team has dispatched Smart Keg back orders and is working on orders outside the EU.
If you order has not been delivered, please reach out to our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org
GEN 3 Alternative for those who truly needed a MiniBrew before Christmas
We have an alternative solution in place for a limited number of GEN 3 orders. After consultation with our retail network, we were able to make additional stock of GEN 2 available for those of you who may have already made beer-like promises for the Christmas period. The GEN 2 has a value of €1.199 and has been extensively tested and is being used happily by well over 500 users. It’s a great quality machine, can be used with all our kegs and is forward compatible with upcoming software updates.
SWAP GEN 3 to GEN 2
If you want to swap your GEN 3 to a GEN 2 order, let us know by sending a reply / message to our support team at email@example.com before December 10 - the additional stock unfortunately is quite limited, so we can only provide this offer on a first come, first serve basis. If we get more demand than we have stock available, people who ordered their GEN 3 earlier (and reply within the next 2 weeks) will get priority. If you are ok with waiting a bit longer and prefer to receive your GEN 3 you don’t have to do anything and we will keep you apprised of.
On top of the earlier promised 6 months pro-membership, we will extend it to 1 year. For GEN 3 Pro/Pro+ buyers will go from 1 to 1,5 year free pro-membership.
We hope you stick with us and keep supporting us on our collective brewing journey forward. We thank you in advance for your patience and understanding. Eventually the GEN 3 will double our user base which brings to total kegs in the field to 5.000 Smart Keg devices. This brings the company to a more serious level as it’s an amazing accomplishment to ship 5.000 units of anything.
We know by experience what it takes to bring a product to the market as we’ve done so by launching Pilot Production, GEN 1 and GEN 2. If some issues do unexpectedly occur, we promise to keep you updated about the situation and solve the problems quickly.
Our software team has been working on a lot of items related to the back-end and on the Android Beta version.
The android app is available for download via Google Play by an invite. The invite is based on submission via this form. Once we received your interest the team needs to give you access to our beta environment and a private link to download the app from the Play Store.
Screenshot of downloading the app from the Google Play Store
The objective is to get your feedback on the Android user interface (V1.0 / Beta version) and updated language of our Operating System + all features like brewing, fermentation and bespoke manual temperature control. Please give suggestions for improvement by joining user hosted Discord Server and share your input on the Android tab (under support)
New recipes, our very first community recipes!!
The first community recipes expect to be available from December / January. MiniBrew users Rob, Eelco and MiniBrew have worked hard to create these superb recipes for you all! We couldn’t be more proud of you guys.
Delfis Juice made by Eelco - NEIPA
Delft is a Dutch city having a rich history. The city is known for its Delft Blue pottery, Girl with a Pearl Earring by Vermeer, the place where the Dutch royalties are buried and the city where the VOC (Dutch East India Company) was seated. Once the home of about 200 breweries! Although there is not much known about the beers brought on the VOC ships, the “Delfis Juice” could be a fine example of how these beers could have tasted. This New England style IPA is a real thirst quencher and filled to the brim with hoppy goodness. It will surely satisfy your needs on a long trip overseas or simply at home. This recipe was created by Eelco van der Snoek who lives in Delft without any knowledge of the VOC beers, but with lots of love for craft beer and brewing.
Brave Bird made by Rob - Saison
In contrast to the sea, Rob has his eyes aimed at the sky. Living as a true Burgundian in Limburg he wanted to recreate this authentic feeling of living life to the fullest. With his artisanal genes and love for falconry he wanted to create an authentic, but also daring saison. When you get a taste of the ‘’Brave Bird’’ it brings you back to the long sunny evenings and peaceful farmland with hints of grape and coriander grown in the fields.
In the next update, we will share more information about the progress of GEN 3, brew pack development and future plans. We hope you enjoyed this update. Please share any feedback/thoughts in the comments. Thank you as always, and happy MiniBrewing!