Investing in the Elixir of Life
If you enjoy (good) movies, have you seen ? It's a 2015 biographical comedy-drama about the financial crisis of 2007-2009. If you haven't...
Mitte is the first-of-its-kind smart home water system that purifies and enhances water through a process inspired by the natural water cycle.
In 2015, our Co-Founder and CTO Faebian Bastiman explored methods of water purification and mineralization as a side project to his university career. Inspired by the natural water cycle, he replicated the process in a machine. Two years later, that idea became the beautiful Mitte you see today.
The insatiable demand for bottled water is a huge problem. The world spends over $200B on bottled water every year. These figures are ever-growing.
A million plastic bottles are bought every minute, and that number will jump another 20% by 2021.
The consequence of plastic pollution ultimately finds its way back to us through our food chain.
of these bottles end up in our natural system, contributing to an environmental crisis that will soon be as serious as climate change.
The Guardian recently published an article on the widespread contamination of microplastics in our tap water. These microplastics remain in the body for years with unknown consequences.
Mitte replaces bottled water and reduces plastic waste, water waste, and carbon dioxide emissions. Users can create mineralized water, pure and enhanced with essential minerals at home.
Water can be an essential source of minerals for the human body, and many minerals have higher bioavailability in water than in food, such as calcium and magnesium. However, other water purification systems remove important minerals in water along with the contaminants, creating water that’s only pure, but not mineralized.
Mitte solves this problem by using mineral cartridges to replicate the process that occurs in nature when water flows through rocks, picking up minerals along the way. This unique process adds back all the minerals and trace elements that other water purifiers remove, giving you water that’s not just clean, but also full of essential nutrients.
Our replaceable patent-pending mineral cartridges come in three varieties, creating waters with different mineral properties. Users can personalize their water to suit their lifestyle and taste. Whether they prefer a clean balanced everyday water, a sophisticated high mineral hit, or an alkaline water for detox and fitness, there’s a Mitte to suit every need.
The Mitte machine syncs up with the mobile app to further personalize the experience, giving users additional control and insights. It also allows users to monitor cartridge usage and set up (optional) demand-driven automatic ordering of new mineral cartridges. We only send them a new cartridge when their current one is running low.
Our patent-pending (EU patent n° EP17154125) distillation chamber, termed the Peltier-driven-Distillation (PDD), purifies tap water. The PDD is based on the principle of a thermoelectric heat pump, driven by two Peltier elements.
Compared to other filtration-only systems such as pitcher filters, Mitte purifies water of all contaminants, such as harmful hormones, nitrates, fluorides, and microplastics. The result is perfect, pure water as the basis for remineralization.
The mineral cartridges then add back the essential minerals and trace elements that are good for your body, giving you water that's not just clean, but also enhanced with minerals.
With Mitte in their kitchens, our users have their own bottling facility for mineralized water at the push of a button.
Each cartridge produces 250 liters of water. Our goal is to bring Mitte water to market between the price range of $0.10 to $0.20 per liter. We aim to offer a premium and sustainable product at a highly competitive price.
Our business model is “Nespresso for water.” We sell the machine with a nominal margin and earn recurring revenues from the sales of the mineral cartridges, which have a higher margin.
For the machine, our plan is to build a direct-to-consumer distribution model via e-commerce. This model will allow us to (a) keep our distribution costs low, (b) optimize our supply chain, and (c) build a strong brand relationship with customers.
Since the cartridges will be our main source of revenue, we want to keep control of their sales and only commercialize via our website and app. Many businesses have succeeded following this model, such as Xiaomi, OnePlus, and Nespresso.
We are creating a new product category that is at an intersection of the bottled water market and home purification devices, which is a massive business opportunity.
This proves the need for a solution like Mitte to cater to this overlapping segment.
We are supported by the European Regional Development Fund to develop a smart solution to purify and mineralize water.
In late 2017, we launched our presales crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter and followed up with a pre-order campaign on Indiegogo InDemand. The former was overfunded by 360%, with backers pledging a total of €270,000 to our project.
We have 1,000 Kickstarter and Indiegogo backers, with 35% of them from the US and Canada, 60% from Europe with a strong German presence, and 5% from Australia and Hong Kong.
Our crowdfunding backer community is upbeat and extremely supportive of our project. We have managed to gather some of our backers together and compiled the following testimonials.
Our management trio is complemented by an experienced team with a diverse skill set that includes: mechanical and electrical engineering, software development, water science, business development, product development, user experience, marketing, and e-commerce. Please note, only Moritz Waldstein is an officer of Mitte Corp., all other officers are officers of our Parent Company, MitteMitte GmbH.
Nothing is more fundamental to life than water itself. Access to safe drinking water is one of the highest development priorities of countries worldwide. At the same time, the pressure to find sustainable solutions is building. There is no more crucial time for action than now.
Our long-term vision is to create a Mitte ecosystem that replaces bottled water. We’re starting by transforming the way we drink water at home. Our B2C offering with mineral cartridges goes towards brand building and proving sales traction, while our next steps to build solutions for on-the-go and B2B use cases will reach even more markets and consumers.
*Water contributes to the maintenance of normal regulation of the body’s temperature when consumed at least 2.0 L per day.
The smallest investment amount that Mitte is accepting.
The largest investment amount that Mitte is accepting.
Mitte needs to reach their minimum funding goal before
the deadline. If they don’t, all investments will be refunded.
A Crowd SDA is a debt agreement which promises fixed interest payments and a minimum
A Crowd SDA is a debt agreement which promises fixed interest payments and a minimum cash return.
Period after which the company must repay all outstanding interest and principal due under the
Simple interest, paid annually, calculated based on the amount of your investment in the
The minimum total return which the investor is entitled to have received by the maturity date,
expressed as a multiple of the principal amount.
$25,000 – $100,000
Mitte needs to raise
before the deadline. The maximum amount Mitte is willing
to raise is $100K.
1. Purity of water
Our distillation technology stands out from the crowd because of its high performance and efficiency. We provide water that is 60X cleaner than simple filtration and 5X cleaner than reverse osmosis systems. No parts of the machine allows for contaminants to re-enter the water.
2. Personalized enhancement
Other solutions remove both harmful contaminants and beneficial minerals in water via their “catch-all” purification process, while Mitte does not just purify water; we also enhance it with natural minerals that are essential for health. There are different mineral cartridge options available with varying levels of different minerals that you can pick for your needs and lifestyle.
3. Long-term consistency
Our foolproof machine and fail-safe mechanisms also ensure consistent performance over time. For example, if a membrane in a reverse osmosis system is damaged, the user has no way of knowing about that even though the water quality is impaired. Mitte, on the other hand, constantly monitors the quality of the water that it produces via our built-in sensors. If one part of the machine breaks down, there will be no water output at all to ensure your safety.
4. Smart and connected
The mitte machine is part of a connected ecosystem that can be synced up with our mobile app to further improve user experience and give you more control over the water that you drink.
5. Energy efficiency
Due to our patented water purification technology, we are also the most energy efficient countertop distiller in the market.
Mitte uses our proprietary distillation technology that is inspired from the natural water cycle to purify tap water. We remove contaminants such as bacteria, viruses, organic and inorganic compounds, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, hormones, microplastics and more.
Used by the World Health Organization as an indication of water quality, we refer to the Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) present in water. It is the total amount of mobile charged ions – minerals, salts or metals – that are dissolved in a given volume of water, expressed as parts per million (ppm). The smaller the TDS value, the purer the water.
To benchmark mitte’s performance, tap water has an average TDS value of 350 ppm while pure, distilled water is at 1 ppm. After purification, Mitte water has a TDS value of 3 ppm.
Each mineral cartridge comes with different mineral ingredients and levels, allowing you to personalize and create mineralized water that suits your lifestyle and taste:
For more information, you may refer to the compositions and ingredients on this page: https://mitte.co/personalize-your-water/
Based on resources such as this report from the World Health Organization, drinking distilled water could potentially pose major risks for your health. This is also the reason why in Germany, all distilled water sold in bottles come with a warning on the label, stating that it is “Not suitable as drinking water!” (direct translation). At Mitte, we strongly believe that healthy water* is not just pure, but also enriched with essential minerals, and this cascades down to all aspects of our solution. Thus, the mineral cartridge is required for Mitte to do its job.
We are moving to production stage right now and will be shipping in Q3 2019.
We have been working on Mitte for over two years to create a connected eco-system: our hardware, app, mineral cartridges, and cloud back-end. Mitte is currently moving from prototype stage towards ready-for-mass-production with our manufacturing partner.
The mass manufacturing process goes like this until shipping:
– Enter product specification discussion
– Carry out detailed optimization of machine design and structure for mass manufacture
– Review outcome of design, finalize and order parts for next stage
Prototyping and tooling:
– Build 1 prototype based on DFM process outcome so as to confirm that the design matches the specification
– Craft 2D drawings needed for tooling and preparations
– Tooling creation
– Assembly line setup
– Tester box building
– Produce first Mitte samples of 20 – 30 units
– Test samples, carry out inspections, attain certification and evaluate production
At this stage, if we can assure the performance, reliability and quality of these first samples, then we can move ahead with getting everything ready for production and shipping. However, if there are issues with these samples, we’ll have to go through iterations and modifications to fix them. We will keep you informed as we go along.
The mitte app gives you more functionalities and control over the machine. For example:
Not connecting your Mitte to the internet won’t prevent you from using basic functions such as dispensing water. The system is designed so that you don’t need the app to use the machine.
However, we’d strongly encourage you to take full advantage of this is connected device. The hardware in itself has all the basic functions you need to operate the machine, but using it with the app gives you extra features and the best user experience. For example, you can check the quality of water, monitor machine performance, receive maintenance notifications, and get support while setting up the system.
We take the greatest care to make sure that the best ingredients are used. First and foremost, we are only using ingredients that are FDA (Food and Drug Administration in US) approved and are certain and certified to not include any harmful substances.
For sourcing and quality control we have been working with Doehler, one of the world’s largest natural ingredient provider based in Germany. Doehler has over 500 food scientists and nutritionists. In addition, we have been working with great institutes and laboratories in Germany (e.g. Institute Kirchhoff in Berlin) to make sure that our products reach the quality we strive for.
To make sure that our machine and cartridges also comply with microbiological risks (e.g. fungi and bacteria growth) we are also working with a laboratory in Barcelona focused on such long term tests.
This is also complemented by self testing at the microbiological laboratories at our manufacturing partner in Taiwan.
The safety of our cartridges will also be visible and accounted for by a voluntary NSF certification, which is based on rigorous testing.
Each mineral cartridge is good for mineralizing 250 liters (almost 66 gallons) of water. Thus the cartridge lifetime depends on how much water your household consumes. For example, if each person in a two-person household consumes 2 liters of Mitte water per day, the cartridge will last about two months.
You can set up demand-driven automatic ordering of mineral cartridges on your Mitte app. Each cartridge comes with an RFID tag, allowing the system to track usage, and automatically deliver you a new cartridge when your current one is running low. The process is based on actual usage, thus reducing wastage while ensuring that you’ll never run out of water. Otherwise, cartridges can also be purchased individually in our webstore.
We have chosen our materials carefully based on quality, costs, manufacturability and of course safety. The plastics that we are using are high grade food grade like PP, and do not leach unhealthy compounds into the water. The heating parts consist of stainless steel 316 and high grade food grade aluminium.
Mitte uses our proprietary purification method based on distillation, which removes more contaminants from water than any other methods, with more consistent performance in the long term. Thus, the purification process takes some time. The machine purifies one liter of water every two hours (with a maximum purification rate of 12 liters or about 3 gallons per day).
The purification process is always ongoing (unless the storage tank is full) to ensure a ready supply of drinking water.
With smart sensors in the system, the machine and app will also remind you to refill the input water tank when needed, so that the purification process can always be carried out as soon as there is space available in the 4-liter storage tank.
Mitte is designed to be very energy efficient. It consumes on average 0.12kWh while purifying. Since one liter takes 2 hours to be produced, the total energy consumption of the machine for the production of 1l of mitte water is 0.24kWh.
(Please take into account that this is calculated for the typical use case, and that the actual energy consumption can slightly vary depending on your ambient conditions.)
Maintenance includes wiping the storage and input water tanks with a cloth and adding salt from time to time just like you would for a dishwasher. We have an automatic resin regeneration feature that softens the input water before reaching the distillation stage, reducing the possibility of limescale forming on the unit. So all you’ll have to do is to add salt for machine maintenance without having to acid descale your Mitte with descalers or cleaning agents.
You will be notified by the LEDs on the machine and in the app when it’s time to do so. We are still running long term tests to determine how frequently that needs to be done, and in what quantities. More details will follow. This information will definitely be included in the usual manual as well.
Tim Draper: Now it's time for us to bring on the entrepreneurs, but first let's see what's going on back stage.
Moritz: Hi, I'm Moritz.
Karan: And I'm Karan. We are from Mitte.
Moritz: We are based in Germany. What we want to do is fundamentally change globally how water is consumed.
Karan: Everybody should have access to clean water, healthy water. That's a fundamental right for all of us.
Moritz: Before this company actually I lived in Ethiopia for two years. Problems with water there was a part of my inspiration.
Karan: I am born and brought up in India, the tap water situation is really critical in India. There is scarcity of the groundwater but more importantly the tap water that you get in your houses is not pure and clean enough to drink. It's not healthy. We don't want to bring a better water purification device to the market. We want to fundamentally change how water is consumed and our passion and love for that brought us together.
Tim Draper: Welcome to meet the Drapers. Give us your pitch.
Karan: Hi. I'm Karan. I'm co-founder and CMO of Mitte.
Moritz: Hi, I'm Moritz, I'm the CEO and co-founder of Mitte. While we're giving this presentation, the world would be using 11,000 plastic bottles a second. What we wanted to do and what we have done is to think of a better and smarter hydration solution and that's what we've built. We looked at what is really needed for human hydration. It's basically about water that's free of something that's bad for you. Contaminants such as bacteria and viruses but also new problems that you find in water now, micro plastics, hormones, medical residues. We have to get rid all of that but it's also about adding minerals to the water that the body needs to function properly, calcium, magnesium, potassium all of that.
Moritz: Tap water is not healthy to drink. Bottles are very unsustainable solution. They are also expensive and purifiers they purify but they don't make water healthy, if they work. We've taken a fresh, very innovative look at this industry that hasn't changed a whole lot and what we have done is creating water that is free of contaminants, getting to the cleanest water you can get for adding minerals, to make it healthy.
Tim Draper: Do you hook this up to a hose?
Moritz: Yeah, you can actually hook it up or you can operate it on a tank, so you can do both.
Tim Draper: Are you selling the device here or are you selling the water that comes out?
Moritz: It's basically the water that we are selling, so you get the machine, you get the system and we're selling those cartridges.
Polly Draper: What does that cartridge look like?
Moritz: They actually contain minerals, just like in nature as well.
Tim Draper: It's a can full of dirt. That's what it is.
Moritz: It's basically a can. It's minerals right so its calcium, magnesium, best minerals sourced globally. It's exactly the same way nature creates water. Water rains down, runs through the different layers of minerals, so that's why you have different water in let's say Avion or Fiji. Basically, do the same thing but fifty times less plastic, sixty times less CO2. It's basically your bottling factory right here. That's what we've created and also create different waters for different use cases, so this cartridge is actually perfect for babies, young children, no sodium and this water is perfect for sports, it's a lot of electrolytes, so we have different water for different solutions.
Tim Draper: If people want to keep taking water out fine but if the minerals are all gone, its like you are not giving yourself-
Moritz: It doesn't even function without the minerals because its not healthy for you.
Tim Draper: But you are going to die of thirst if you don't drink it. I think it's healthier to drink water than not.
Polly Draper: No, that's actually not true because if you're Michigan their water is not even just drinking water issues, its shower water that's poisoning them. Could that system be done for an entire community?
Moritz: It's basically a small desalination plant in there, so it can clean any type of water but you can also scale it and make it bigger, but what we believe like in computing or energy production, we believe in de central solutions of value creation at point of use, so we think in the future it does make so much sense to use the same water for flushing your toilet, then for drinking, it's economically not a very viable solution.
Anousheh Ansari: Economically, how does it compare to other solutions, you know water purifiers out there?
Moritz: Depends about which water purifier you're thinking but we about double the price with for them but we are much cheaper than bottled waters.
Tim Draper: Have you shipped any of these?
Moritz: We have pre sold around a thousand machines now.
Tim Draper: I thought you guys were just selling-
Moritz: We are not in a market, we pre sold. People actually are really excited about this so they actually bought this machine before it even existed. At the moment we are launching in June next year.
Tim Draper: They are buying the machine and then you're going to sell them the ...
Tim Draper: Okay.
Moritz: First of all you have an app. You can actually monitor the water quality and secondly every cartridge has an RFID tag, so a tag that will tell the machine oh I'm used up two-thirds or and then automatically you get shipped a new one, so that's nice for the user, you don't have to think about it. That's also nice for us because we have recurring revenue.
Tim Draper: Anousheh, how do you drink water in space?
Anousheh Ansari: You have a water dispenser but because water floats you actually let it flow then, let it form like a little bubble and the you just go and ...
Tim Draper: You swallow the bubble?
Polly Draper: No way.
Tim Draper: That's so awesome.
Anousheh Ansari: The cartridge, how many bottles of water for example, that one cartridge?
Moritz: We do liters, but it's 250 liters, I think that's around 70 gallons.
Tim Draper: How much is the cost?
Moritz: The machine? We have not like final, final price here but it will be around 400.
Polly Draper: How much are the...
Moritz: The cartridges? 10 to 27 cents liters so around 30 to 40 dollars.
Tim Draper: What are your backgrounds?
Karan: My background has been ... I've been working with startups mostly in eCommerce and hardware space.
Moritz: I was in consulting first and I built my company direct to consumer coffee business actually and then my met CTO Faebian who was like building basically the next generation water purifications and we met as well and the three of us combined and get this going.
Polly Draper: I was just thinking about the plastic bottle thing. This can't really be the thing that replaces them because you would put this in the office in place of the water cooler but plastic bottles, they're things you buy out on street when you are thirsty-
Moritz: I totally agree with you it won't replace it. How we see it is what we want to do is create an ecosystem that replaces bottles at as many use points as possible.
Polly Draper: Places that you can.
Karan: Bottle water industry is a 200 billion dollar industry right now. From the numbers that we have seen about 40% to 60% of the bottle water is for home and office use, so if you really think of it there is a very big on the go use case but there is a massive use case for people buying bottle water for their home and offices. For us this is a starting point, so we are starting with home and our goal is to replace bottle water quickly at all touch points.
Anousheh Ansari: Are you looking at the global market or just the US market?
Karan: Our plan is to launch in the US first and selectively in Europe, but this product is such a great fit in Asia because over there for years people have not been drinking tap water. Tap water contamination is very common and eventually our goal is to go to those markets as well, but we are launching in the US and in Europe to begin with.
Tim Draper: Thank you very much for coming to meet the Drapers. Terrific
Karan: Thanks. It was a pleasure.
Tim Draper: Yeah, nice to see you.
Karan: Great, pleasure.
Bill Draper: Good luck to you.
Karan: Thank you.
Karan: I think it went very well.
Moritz: Yeah, I think they kind of ... They were quite interested in I think what we were doing. It's maybe a bit different than what they've seen normally but I really think it was nice.
Karan: I think they got the problem that we were trying to solve and they could relate to it, so I think it went very well.
Moritz: Yeah, we forgot the demo but I think we were fine. Like, yeah, we were talking more about the importance of what we're doing and why it made sense and yeah. In a year, we'll be in the market, so we'll be delivering our first units and then delivering on our promise, so healthy water.
Karan: They should get on our wait list.
Karan: Go and invest in our republic campaign now.
Tim Draper: Let's see what the judges think. What did you think of this great water business?
Anousheh Ansari: Definitely a plastic bottles and plastic is a big issue, so this tries to address that I think the price is a little high which limits the market, but the idea and the execution is really, really nice.
Polly Draper: I feel like the price will eventually come down when it comes to be more of a household name. I think it's really, really a huge market.
Anousheh Ansari: First of all, in the airports these days when you go there is this place you can fill your bottle, so I think in those types of settings where they can implement this in a lot of common areas. I think that would be really nice. The thing that I didn't like is that if the filter runs out, it shuts down the water.
Tim Draper: I know I thought that was a little bit-
Polly Draper: But they said that never happens.
Tim Draper: Well, it seemed a little abrupt that instead of just saying hey, your water is not full of minerals, instead they're saying you don't get any water.
Polly Draper: There is no water for you.
Tim Draper: Taking any minerals. We're out of minerals.
Polly Draper: But at some places it could be life or death.
Tim Draper: I know. I thought that he the CEO was great, a little rigid in his thinking and the marketing guy was open and flexible, so maybe their combination will work out pretty well.
Bill Draper: I think they've got to build these in great quantity or a much bigger machines to get any real impact because there are other water filters and it really just competes with the tremendous numbers of other ways to deliver water.
Tim Draper: That's my biggest concern is there are thousand companies that do water filtration.
Polly Draper: It's got to be really the marketing.
Tim Draper: Here's how we judge.
Anousheh Ansari: Okay.
Tim Draper: We go thumbs up, thumbs down, thumbs all around and then you decide but before we judge we get a vibe of the crystal ball. Let's feel the crystal ball and let's just sort of see ... yeah, how does it feel? Do we put dirt into our water?
Polly Draper: You're doing really good advertising for it, oh my God.
Tim Draper: Okay, I know what I'm going to do. Okay, so thumbs up, thumbs down, thumbs all around, then you decide.
Bill Draper: They are two up, two down. We don't really know, one and half up ...
Tim Draper: I'm sort of sideways kind of like wait for it. You can invest in this entrepreneur, you can give him a thumbs up or a thumbs down or you can invest. We are the only show on television ever that creates an opportunity for you the viewer to be an investor in these companies. You can invest a $100 or a $1000 you can just put it all on black, so go to meetthedrapers.com to vote or invest. Let's bring on the next entrepreneur but first let's see what's going on behind the scenes.
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