Rocean, the company behind the countertop water carbonation appliance, announced yesterday that it has raised a $6 million round of financing. The round was led by global investment firm Blue, with participation from a bunch of high-profile individual investors including musician John Legend. Rocean had previously crowdfunded more than $220,000 dollars on Indiegogo last year.
Spoon contributor Richard Gunther wrote about the Rocean last year, saying:
You’ll first notice that rOcean’s decidedly contemporary countertop device, the rOcean One, is larger than a SodaStream carbonator. That’s because there’s a lot more going on inside of it. It will filter, carbonate, and flavor your own tap water—even plugging into the water line to make operation nearly as simple as pouring from a faucet. You can manage your preferred flavor intensity and degree of carbonation from their app or directly on an integrated touch-screen control panel, and their bottles will have RFID tags that can be assigned to your favorite beverage recipes.
According to Rocean’s press announcement, the devices will start shipping in late summer of this year. Hopefully this $6M round will help Rocean avoid the crowdfunding curse that derails so many homegrown hardware projects that try to scale.
The seltzer water market is hot right now for sure. Quartz reported in January that sales of fizzy water have jumped 88 percent over the past six years, grossing more than $2.3 billion in 2018. That’s probably why so many companies are getting into the bubbly biz.
There’s also an environmental motivation: Rocean is among a number of countertop devices coming to market promising to revolutionize drinking water while helping to save the planet from single-use plastic bottles. Mitte raised more than $10M last year for its mineral water machine. Pepsi bought SodaStream last August for $3.2 billion, and last month debuted its own “hydration platform.” Pepsi’s hydration station and Bevi each offer much of the same flavor and fizz control features of the Rocean, but are targeting offices.
While the earth-friendly aspects of the Rocean, like the reuseable flavor pod containers, are intriguing, I really like the fact that the device can be plumbed into my water line. Making bubble water more convenient (which, I totally get is a very first-worldy relative term here), would help ween me off the cans.