Our Investment in Rocean
The clean water revolution begins right from your home
Water. You drink it every day. Yet you probably don’t think much about what’s actually in it, where it comes from, or how much it costs to get to you. For starters, the world drinks a staggering $100 Billion worth of bottled water every year and the US, where bottled water is 2,000x more expensive than the tap, accounts for over half of that consumption. Furthermore, this spending says nothing of the immense environmental costs from all of this plastic bottle production.
Making plastic water bottles consumes up 17 million barrels of oil annually — enough to fuel one million cars for a whole year. This also creates significant carbon emissions which are a primary contributor to man-made climate change. Because less than 30% of bottled water gets recycled, it means billions upon billions of water bottles are cluttering our landfills and polluting our oceans. Over 8 million tons of plastic are dumped into our oceans every year and as more microplastics and contaminants seep into our drinking water, the world’s plastic problem is becoming an active health crisis for both the planet as well as her inhabitants.
Despite the negative externalities, the business of water — especially sparkling, flavored water — has been booming!
The seltzer & sparkling market has nearly tripled in the last decade, with Americans expected to purchase almost 821M gallons (approx. $2.2B to $2.7B worth) in the US this year with that number expected to grow to as high as $6.1B in short order. Just in the past four years, the sparkling water category has grown 54% and canned sparkling water has been the fastest growing within that category (up 43% year over year) to reach $803M in sales. Just for some context, the tech industry’s favorite (allegedly roach poison-laced) beverage, LaCroix, grew 52% in 2017 with net sales for Q2 2017 of $244M, up from $203M in Q2 2016. Those following this space have undoubtedly also witnessed immense acquisition interest from the major CPG brands including Coco-Cola buying Topo Chico, Pepsi’s purchase of SodaStream and AB InBev’s acquisition of HiBall.
There is a clear market opportunity to provide consumers with the flavored, sparkling beverages they crave with reducing the industry’s dependence on plastics. But making a lasting change starts with making these better choices more accessible and convenient.
That is the ambitious, healthy, and sustainable future that our latest investment, rOcean is building — and one we at LaunchCapital are immensely honored and proud to support!
The rOcean One, the company’s beautiful flagship product will be making quite a splash upon their launch this summer. An all-in-one smart and sustainable device that connects straight to your tap, so you can have filtered, carbonated, and flavored water at the push of a button. Their eco-friendly pods are reusable and dishwasher safe, and their recyclable refill packs can make up to 50 liters of flavor-enhanced water each. This sleek connected device also integrates with smart-homes like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home, tracks and provides insight on consumption behaviors and even automates the D2C delivery of new flavors and replacement of filters or canisters. The hassle-free installation and ease-of-use re-enforce good habits and sustainable choices for consumers while its beautiful, aesthetic design means the rOcean One will soon become a countertop staple in homes.
“When our son was born, my wife and I considered the world he was going to inherit, specifically in regards to ocean pollution — there had to be a smarter solution for people who want the same convenience of pre-filled plastic bottles without the inconvenience of single-use plastic waste,”
— Sunjay Guleria, Co-Founder and CEO of rOcean.
As the old Andy Rachleff quote goes, “when a great team meets a great market, something special happens”. rOcean’s stellar team is led by co-founders and serial entrepreneurs Sunjay Guleria, Mohini Boparai & Lee von Kraus, who have attracted talented product designers, hardware engineers and senior e-commerce execs from the likes of Dyson, Keen Home, Motorola, and beyond. The team’s impressive collective experience is matched only by their mission-driven mindset: every step of the design process is informed by rigorous research, making sure each rOcean One minimizes its carbon footprint and net environmental impact, from manufacturing to distribution and through to everyday use in your home.
In a digital world, filled with mostly analog options like SodaStream, it’s no wonder that rOcean’s wildly successful Indiegogo Campaign ended up 682% oversubscribed! Alongside these adoring early customer-backers, we are thrilled to join investors from BlueWater, Silicon Badia, Queensbridge Venture Partners and more as well as notable angels such as Patrick Finnegan, Rohan Oza, and our friend and frequent co-investor nihal mehta and his wife Reshma Saujani.
By creating a single machine that has superior beverage customization and filtration at home, rOcean is not only offering consumers a new efficient drinking system but saving them thousands of dollars a year while making a tangible impact on the cleanliness and health of our planet.
That’s the kind of sea change that’s sure to make a splash.
If you want to learn more about rOcean and the amazing entrepreneurs behind this ingenious device, check out their wildly successful Indiegogo campaign to see the rOcean prototype in action. Make sure to follow rOcean on Twitter to stay up to date on the latest in the clean water revolution and pre-order to be the first to get yours upon launch!