STARTUP OF THE MONTH
Drink Matera is a new startup that amplifies one of the most classic drinks in Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil (called chimarrão) and Paraguay: Mate. The company, in comparison to its competitors, retains the long-term preparation of mate and maintains its natural conditions.
Coffee is embedded in most of the world as a need. Caffeine has become a must for people starting their day. For all the coffee drinkers, lack of this substance on a daily basis can make us feel with less energy and therefore less productive. Furthermore, coffee can be prepared for different tastes. Transnational coffee shop chains have created a reputation by selling high-end coffee. Nevertheless, these companies sell the whole concept of a coffee shop, where they provide a place for hanging out or working remotely, a concept Drink Matera is looking to in the near future. Most people are working in an office during long hours of the day and drinking coffee.
In different countries in South America, mate fills the place of coffee. Yerba Mate, the tree where the mate comes from, is originally from Paraguay but is also planted in the North of Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil. Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, and Paraguay have a long tradition with this beverage. Argentina even has a national mate day. Aside from containing caffeine, Mate contains other properties good for our health. There are large amounts of B1, B2, and C vitamins, and more than 10 different amino acids in the beverage. We can think of Mate as a beverage with more similarities to Tea than coffee.
Vir Solis, Argentine from Córdoba and Co-founder of Drink Matera, started the project with Lina, and an American who had a project importing mate when she was pursuing a postgraduate education at the University of San Francisco. Drink Matera works as a company that imports and acts as the marketer of the product. The project began right after she traveled to the countryside of Argentina, in the North of the country and looked up for small suppliers, which have the opportunity to advertise their products. Vir underlines the importance of a strong relationship with the suppliers, as it creates value for the whole supply chain.
Drink Matera, still in its seed funding, is currently using a Subscription business model. First-time costumers order the product online and receive a quantity of mate, the infuser, and the “Matherma” (The nickname of the flask). Customers then can decide how much mate they need depending on their consumption in monthly-basis. There are 3 different types of subscriptions: The “Curious Drinker”, which contains 3 individual servings per week, the “Casual Drinker”, with 5 servings per week, and the “Conventional Drinker” package, with 7 servings per week.
In terms of the target market, people would think Drink Matera is aimed towards South Americans living in the Bay Area. However, the startup is looking to attract customers from all ethnicities. Exposing cultures to drink mate and create a market. In addition, Drink Matera’s long-term goal is to open mate shops across the country.
Drink Matera has shipped 4 pallets, (approximately 2000 kg) and it is currently in its seeding process, with funding from the Co-funders and support on Kickstarter.