What should we call Pani, the forthcoming hydration system that officially launched its crowdfunding campaign today?
It’s a water filter, because it removes bad stuff like chlorine and mercury from your tap water. It’s also a mineralizer, because it adds good stuff like calcium and potassium back into your water. But it also sports a pod system to infuse flavors and enhancement boosts into your water.
At the end of the day, Pani creator, Allen Tsai just wants to improve the water you’re drinking. Pani (the word) means “water” in Hindi, and Tsai was inspired to launch Pani (the company) in 2018 after spending time digging water wells in Nepal. Pani’s first product was an IoT water flow meter that tracked water usage. That product turned out to be more of a B2B play, but for this new hydration system, Tsai is focused on the consumer market.
In addition to filtering, mineralizing and flavoring water, the countertop Pani device also dispenses said water hot and cold, between 40 and 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pani is launching at a time of growth for the bottled water industry. Even soda giant PepsiCo got in on the action a few years back with its acquisition of SodaStream. So the timing is right to catch on with audiences that still want flavored/mineral water but don’t want to buy single-use bottles and contribute to the world’s huge plastic waste problem. In addition to eliminating the need for bottles, Pani’s flavor pods are multi-use and the plastic housing is reusable, so it avoids Keurig-like waste problems as well.
All of this, however, does not come cheap. Early Pani backers can buy a Pani for $199 (while limited supplies last). When it comes to retail in the Spring of 2022, a Pani will cost $399. That’s a lot for a single-use countertop device. It does however, offer more functionality than the Mitte, which just mineralizes water, or the Rocean, which only creates fizzy water.
In the end, the Pani is many things, now it just needs to see if it’s the right thing for consumers.