When a bartender pours too much liquor in a drink, or someone slips away with a bottle, it can take a toll on a drinking establishment’s bottom line. So Nectar Labs has come up with a solution: the connected pourer and stopper.
It uses ultrasound technology and a software platform to precisely measure how much alcohol is left in a given bottle for automating inventory, managing shrinkage (theft or loss) and self-replenishing. Nectar says it literally puts a cap on the multi-billion dollar lost revenue crisis that impacts any business with a bar. The Distilled Spirits Council trade group estimates that the bar business is worth $200 billion a year worldwide, and shrinkage is as much as $50 billion a year.
For $300 a month, Nectar supplies the hardware and an app to help companies enforce rules against “heavy pours.”
The platform is live and is managing more than 100,000 live pours in the W Hotel in Miami and Dosa Restaurant in San Francisco. The company invested more than 50,000 hours of research and development time into the product, which includes more than 2.5 million pours using custom robotic arms in its lab to test for accuracy and durability. (Yes, somebody has been doing a lot of drinking).
“Nectar has delivered powerful insights that were impossible to identify before, said Anjan Mitra, owner of Dosa restaurant, in a statement. “These have dramatically improved our operations, ranging from 24/7 inventory management to one-touch ordering, so our bar managers don’t work after hours to keep in-demand liquor in stock. Instead, they can focus on delivering the best possible guest experience and creating amazing cocktails.”
The Nectar cap transfers data wirelessly to an app via Bluetooth. Nectar’s caps and associated platform are designed to seamlessly fit a bar’s current operation. The pourer and stopper continuously communicates with the app, keeping track of inventory in real time. When a bottle is finished and replaced, Nectar automatically depletes it from inventory, and when inventory is running low, orders can be placed directly with distributors. That saves bar managers time and money so they can focus on customer experience instead of the stock room.
“Nectar is doing for alcohol consumption data what Google did for click-through data. By bringing disciplined metrics to a previously unmeasured space, Nectar is closing the massive information gap to make the bar industry more intelligent and efficient,” said Aayush Phumbhra, cofounder and CEO of Nectar, in a statement. “With sell-through data available in real time, and self-replenishment a reality, Nectar will improve the unit economics of the industry.”
Phumbhra and cofounder Prabhanjan “PJ” Gurumohan, chief operating officer, have more than 20 years of consumer experience.
“Until now, precise inventory control and management have been guesswork. It’s insanely difficult to track how much bars and restaurants serve — and lose — on a given night, let alone over a month or a year,” said Gurumohan, in a statement. “Nectar’s technology tackles this global, multi-billion dollar problem by seamlessly integrating into a bar’s existing operations. It’s accurate, non-invasive, and doesn’t force the bartender to change how they do their job.”
Phumbhra cofounded Chegg, the disruptive solution to expensive textbook purchases, and evolved the company from a boot-strapped startup to a multi-million dollar publicly traded digital learning platform. Gurumohan was the cofounder and CEO of Genwi, one of the largest cloud publishing solutions, and one which is used by more than 1,500 customers, including Condé Nast, Forbes, and PBS.
Nectar is currently taking orders for future shipments of its connected pourers and stoppers. The company was founded in 2014, and its investors include Palantir cofounder and venture capitalist Joe Lonsdale; Eclipse founder Lior Susan; founder of Streamlined Ventures, Ullas Naik; and others.
The company has under 20 employees.