Bevi: Unbottling the Future

By Patricia Nakache, Gelila Bekele
2022 | Case No. E804 | Length 13 pgs.

Bevi was founded to enable a permanent transition away from single-use bottles and cans in order to make an environmental impact. The company built and sold thousands of IoT-enabled smart water dispensers that offered filtered, sparkling and flavored water on tap. Bevi’s machines have helped save over 150 million bottles and cans from ending up in landfills.

This case explores Bevi’s product roadmap, market structures that impacted the company’s growth and the complexity of pursuing a dual distribution model in the beverage industry. The case also highlights issues of leadership management and retention in high-growth startups, as well as the strategic decisions the company faced along the way.

Learning Objective

This case is designed to help students:

  • Develop a perspective on trade-offs between alternative distribution strategies and the challenges of pursuing a dual distribution strategy - selling products both direct-to-customers and through distributors.
  • Understand key considerations around executive hiring at early growth stages of a startup: the benefits and challenges of big company experience.
  • Explore the viability of remote or distributed work for startup founders.
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