IBJNews

Investors pour $5 million into beer technology firm

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Investors have poured another $5 million into a Carmel tech startup with big plans for the beer industry.

SteadyServ Technologies LLC, founded in February 2012, recently secured the venture funding in anticipation of a product rollout in the first quarter of next year, company founder and CEO Steve Hershberger said Friday. The $5 million stacks onto $1.5 million SteadyServ received earlier this year.

The company spent its first year and half in business refining its product, iKeg—a system with a sensor that monitors beer left in metal kegs and sends alerts to mobile devices when supplies are low.

The 12-employee firm expects to generate less than $100,000 in revenue outside of investments this year as it works out its product’s issues during beta testing. That will change starting next year, if all goes according to plan.

SteadyServ plans to hire 75 to 100 people—including salespeople, software developers and back-office workers—and record at least $25 million in annual sales within a couple of years. It has already received commitments from customers as large as Anheuser-Busch, Hershberger said.

That's warp-speed growth for a startup heading into its second year of business.

“When we started, the guidance was to follow the Indiana playbook to raise money: ‘Do it small, be conservative and take baby steps. Don’t think about anything bold,’” Hershberger said. “We thought, ‘You know, here’s the problem. This idea just can’t be half-present. It’s either an absolute dud and didn’t work, or it’s going to be very successful.’”

The idea for iKeg brewed from Hershberger’s own work experiences. A software developer by trade, he also helped start Flat 12 Bierwerks just east of downtown.

Restaurants and bars often resort to rudimentary methods, such as shaking a keg, to determine how much beer is left in containers. iKeg, which sends reports to mobile devices when a keg is low, helps customers better stay on top of beverage orders and prevents them from throwing out unconsumed beer.

“If it’s off by 2 or 3 percent, is it a big deal? In terms of restaurant economics, it’s a real big deal,” said Ryan Kellerman, director of beverage hospitality for the Scotty’s Brewhouse restaurant chain, which is testing iKeg.

SteadyServ has tweaked its product as it received feedback from testers and prospective customers. For instance, instead of reporting a keg’s remaining beer as a percentage or a fluid measurement, the company developed a metric that servers can understand: pints.

Instead of targeting a lot of small deals with bars and restaurants, SteadyServ looks for business from distributors, which typically have larger budgets and more willingness to invest in technologies such as iKeg.

There's little competition in the market at the moment. With Hershberger’s background in both technology and the beer industry, investors saw a lot of potential, said Douglas Conner, managing director at Periculum Advisors LLC in Carmel, which brokered the funding rounds.

“It is ambitious,” Conner said about the growth plan. “We also think the prize is big. Not moving quickly is almost criminal as well.”

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Excellent
    Great idea and a smart investment for the VC who took part in this funding effort.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I think the poster was being sarcastic and only posting or making fun of what is usually posted on here about anything being built in BR or d'town for that matter.

  2. Great news IRL fans: TURBO the IMS sanctioned movie about slugs running the Indy 500 has caught the Securities and Exchange Commission because Dreamworks had to take a $132MILLION write down...because the movie was such a flop. See, the Indy/IMS magic soiled another pair of drawers. Bwahahahahahaha! How's CARTOWN doing? HAHAHAHA...Indy is for losers.

  3. So disappointed in WIBC. This is the last straw to lose a good local morning program. I used to be able to rely on WIBC to give me good local information, news, weather and traffic on my 45 minute commute.Two incidents when I needed local, accurate information regarding severe weather were the first signs I could not now rely on WIBC. I work weekend 12 hour nights for a downtown hospital. This past winter when we had the worst snowfall in my 50 years of life, I came home on a Sunday morning, went to sleep (because I was to go back in Sunday night for another 12 hour shift), and woke up around 1 p.m. to a house with no electricity. I keep an old battery powered radio around and turned on WIBC to see what was going on with the winter storm and the roads and the power outage. Sigh. Only policital stuff. Not even a break in to update on the winter storm warning. The second weather incident occurred when I was driving home during a severe thunderstorm a few months ago. I had already gotten a call from my husband that a tornado warning was just southwest of where I had been. I turned to WIBC to find out what direction the storm was headed so I could figure out a route home, only to find Rush on the air, and again, no breaking away from this stupidity to give me information. Thank God for my phone, which gave me the warning that I was driving in an area where a tornado was seen. Thanks for nothing WIBC. Good luck to you, Steve! We need more of you and not the politics of hatred that WIBC wants to shove at us. Good thing I have Satellite radio.

  4. I read the retail roundup article and tried Burritos and Beers tonight. I'm glad I did, for the food was great. Fresh authentic Mexican food. Great seasoning on the carne asada. A must try!!! Thanks for sharing.

  5. John, unfortunately CTRWD wants to put the tank(s) right next to a nature preserve and at the southern entrance to Carmel off of Keystone. Not exactly the kind of message you want to send to residents and visitors (come see our tanks as you enter our city and we build stuff in nature preserves...

ADVERTISEMENT