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Austin coffee-robot startup scooped up by Coca-Cola for undisclosed amount

Austin coffee startup scooped up by Coca-Cola for undisclosed amount

Whole Foods Market Midtown Briggo coffee robot
Austin-based Briggo was scooped up by Coca-Cola earlier this month. Courtesy of Whole Foods Market

Briggo, a startup that specializes in robotic coffee-dispensing machines, has rebranded as Costa Coffee BaristaBot after being quietly scooped up by The Coca-Cola Co. for an undisclosed amount.

The Austin-based company announced the rebranding October 26 via Twitter after Coca-Cola folded the 12-year-old company into its Costa Coffee subsidiary. The beverage giant bought Costa Coffee last year for $4.9 billion and added Briggo to the Costa Coffee lineup sometime after that. As part of the Briggo acquisition, that company’s team joined Costa Coffee, according to Coca-Cola spokeswoman Erin Russ.

“The investment in Briggo’s technology and expertise, which includes Briggo Coffee Hauses in several key customer locations, has been an exciting addition to Costa Coffee,” Russ says. Briggo machines are located in prominent locations such as the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and the Austin Convention Center.

In an October 22 call with Wall Street analysts, Coca-Cola Chairman and CEO James Quincey declared that his company was continuing its journey “to be a global multiplatform coffee company under the Costa brand.”

Costa Coffee, based in the United Kingdom, operates nearly 4,000 coffeeshops around the world, as well as a coffee-vending business and a roastery. It also offers in-home coffee products. The Briggo deal represents Costa Coffee’s entry into the U.S. market.

The newly named Costa Coffee BaristaBot business is much smaller than its parent is. Russ says five active Briggo Coffee Haus self-service kiosks are in operation now in the U.S., including Austin. All of those machines of been rebranded as Costa Coffee BaristaBots. Future machines will be marketed under the Costa Coffee BaristaBot brand.

Earlier this year, Briggo signaled its coffee robots would be in a dozen locations by the end of 2020, but that was before the coronavirus pandemic struck. In 2019, Briggo signed a deal with airport vendor SSP North America to install coffee robots at 25 airports in the U.S. and Canada.