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VEA Ventures Invests in Portland-Based Brewer Maker Ratio

Ratio VEA logos

Ratio and VEA are combining forces through a strategic investment.

The Italian holding company behind the equipment brands Carimali and Elektra has made an undisclosed minority investment in Portland, Oregon-based home coffee brewer maker Ratio.

The non-controlling investment comes from Bergamo-based VEA Ventures, which was founded five years ago by Andrea Doglioni Majer as primary owner and operator of the iconic Carimali espresso machine brand. In 2019, VEA/Carimali acquired fellow Italian machine brand Elektra.

Ratio Six

A Ratio Six home coffee brewer. Courtesy photo.

“This investment is primarily focused on finishing our next brewer, which is debuting in 2023,” Ratio Founder and CEO Mark Hellweg told DCN via email. “As we start to integrate a bit more tech into our brewers, we’ve been looking for strategic investors that can add engineering and manufacturing expertise to our team.”

The companies have not disclosed the financial terms of the investment.

Ratio made its first public appearance with its first home automatic coffee brewer, the Ratio Eight, in 2013. In 2019, the company unveiled its next major release, the Ratio Six brewer, which went on to earn SCA Certified Home Brewer status.

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While focused on brewing quality and consistency, both models reflect Ratio’s original vision as a higher-end, durable and aesthetically appealing alternative to cheaply produced and plastic-heavy home brewers.

“We see a consolidating trend for easy home coffee-brewing solutions,” VEA Ventures Vice President Umberto Doglioni Majer said in an announcement shared with DCN regarding the Ratio investment. “We also strongly believe in elevating the quality of the coffee experience in terms of flavor but also overall product feel.”

Ratio Eight

A Ratio Eight home coffee brewer. Courtesy photo.

As a coffee-equipment-focused holding company, VEA Ventures has made strategic investments in manufacturing facilities, as well as in tech-forward coffee equipment brands such as the Slingshot grinder, German prosumer espresso machine maker Bellezza and New Jersey-based cold brew manufacturer BKON.

In a company profile published in 2021, VEA said it achieved annual group revenue of more than €40 million ($42 million USD).

VEA Ventures is also the owner and creator of a new online coffee publication called New Ground.

Hellweg told DCN that the investment from VEA follows additional individual investments from people including coffee industry veterans Geoff Watts of Intelligentsia Coffee, and Brant and Patrick Curtis, formerly of the commercial beverage equipment maker Wilbur Curtis.

“Overall, we’ve been able to earn a valuation increase of 500% owing to individual investors who have believed in our vision and ability to work though all the challenges related to building things out of atoms instead of bits,” Hellweg said. “We’re incredibly thankful for the trust they’ve put in the Ratio team.”

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