The Aberdeen-based entrepreneurs behind revolutionary new technology aimed at speeding up the time it takes to grab a beer at major events are ready to accelerate its roll-out to the market after a £670,000 crowdfunding drive.
It is the latest of a series of fundraising exercises for EBar Initiatives, which was launched by managing director Sam Pettipher and Nick Beeson, both former Robert Gordon University (RGU) students, in late 2016.
The duo aim to dramatically improve the consumer experience at music and sports events, using innovative dispensing technology to reduce the time people spend waiting in bar queues.
Our hygienic, contactless, self-service EBars are a 21st-Century solution for operators who are looking to new technology to increase revenue, address staffing shortages, reduce costs, and most importantly improve the customer experience.”
Nick Beeson, EBar Initiatives
A combination of EBar’s patented dispenser and rapid payment technologies allows beer or soft drinks to reach customers in less than 30 seconds, meaning people attending major events will no longer have to choose between missing out on some of the action and quenching their thirst.
Mr Pettipher and Mr Beeson, managing director and commercial director respectively, worked in the renewable-energy and oilfield services industries respectively before honing their business skills in postgraduate studies at RGU.
Their idea for faster drinks – further developed during a business accelerator programme run by Aberdeen-based Elevator, won them a gong and £75,000 at the Scottish Edge awards in 2017.
That cash boost was followed a year later by a £228,000 injection of equity investment led by London-based Jenson Funding Partners’ SEIS and EIS Fund, with the likes of angel investor groups Gabriel and Equity Gap among those backing the business.
In early 2019, with EBar having successfully trialled its speedy, automated, self-service drink kiosks at a string of high-profile events at venues including P&J Live, in Aberdeen, Old Trafford, in Manchester, and Twickenham, in London, the firm launched a crowdfunding campaign to help it refine its innovative technology and build more units.
Mr Pettipher – who got the dispenser idea after missing a match-winning try at a rugby game in 2016, because he was stuck in a bar queue – said accelerated digitalisation and automation of many day-to-day services, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, made EBar’s mission to change the way drinks are served, more relevant than ever before.”
Mr Beeson added: “We see every day how customers are opting for digital and more streamlined experiences, across many of their day-to-day activities, and how they choose to get their drinks at events or in large venues is no different.
“Our hygienic, contactless, self-service EBars are a 21st-Century solution for operators who are looking to new technology to increase revenue, address staffing shortages, reduce costs, and most importantly improve the customer experience.”
New director joining the team
Mr O’Dowd, who is joining EBar’s board as a non-executive director, said “With over 30 years in the events and hospitality industry, managing and attending all types of large-scale sporting occasions, festivals, and events, I have experienced, along with everyone else, the customer service issues that EBar now solves.
“I look forward to working with the team as we expand EBar’s operations in the UK, Europe and globally.”