Startup that disrupts water coolers could expand to New York


Hydration Labs, the maker of an environmentally-friendly water cooler called Bevi, landed more than $6 million in new funding last week, much of which will go toward expansion.

Sean Grundy, the startup's co-founder, said the proceeds will help company expand its footprint geographically, moving beyond its home base of Boston to other cities like New York City.

"We are also dedicating a large percentage of the funding to research and development work, expanding the variety of beverages that our machines can create," Grundy said in an email.

The startup also plans to grow its engineering team, he said. The Bevi is a smart water cooler that helps you create your own flavored and sparkling drinks, according to its website.

To date, the company has raised over $8 million. The latest round of funding was led by investors including Horizons Ventures and Tamarisc.

Hydration Labs has grown to more than 50 corporate customers throughout Boston since the fall of 2014.

"We've gone from building machines in the back of our office and delivering them in a Zipvan to working with experienced manufacturing and logistics partners. It's been a really exciting year, and the coming one should be even better," Grundy said.

The vending machines filter and bottle beverages at the point of use, instead of at a bottling plant. The startup cuts variable costs and the carbon footprint of companies in the beverage vending industry by 80 percent, according to Greentown Labs, a Somerville, Mass.-based clean-tech startup incubator program. Hydration Labs is an alumnus of Greentown Labs.

Wills Hapworth