What they do: Cooking has always been a trade off between ease and quality. Professional chefs solve this by cooking with sous vide cookers and Nomiku has made them available to the home cook. Just drop your ingredients into an airtight ziploc, place them in the Nomiku controlled water bath and walk away. The resulting food is so good that even Michelin rated chefs use the Nomiku daily.Why it’s a big deal: This may be the biggest innovation in home cooking since the microwave 40 years ago. Sous vide was previously reserved for professional kitchens, but Nomiku has brought it to the masses with a machine that is more affordable and more accurate than any other professional option. Investing in Nomiku is a bet that most Americans would enjoy an easier way to cook high-quality food at home.
Consistently heats 5 gallons of water within 0.1 degree.
80% of sales online via site and Amazon.
Just signed Target as first big box retailer.
Why investors us
$2,416,300 since our founding
Sous vide is poised to be the biggest kitchen innovation since the microwave and Nomiku has made it affordable. They’ve already sold 18k units to quality-conscious home cooks who want cooking to be easy as well as delicious. Sous vide hardly existed in home kitchens a few years ago, but now Nomiku is back-ordered by 10,000 units for their newest product. Nomiku is the best sous vide cooker on the market and with their early sales and newly formed relationships, has positioned themselves to be the brand which will be synonymous with sous vide in the home.
By bringing sous vide to the masses, Nomiku is creating a category. And with endorsements from celebrity chefs like Hugh Acheson and as authors of the first ever sous vide cookbook commissioned by Random House, they are building a brand that will get their best-in-class product in front of even more customers. They are taking the right distribution strategy by only working with retailers that agree to do demos in their stores. Nomiku's already signed on Target and is in discussion with Costco.
We also love that they understand community. They've built an app for Nomiku customers to share recipes and learn from each other about sous vide cooking. This makes customers more comfortable adopting the new method.
We invest in teams that will do whatever it takes and obsess over user experiences and customer happiness. Lisa, Abe, and Bam lived next to their factory in China for months to perfect the product. They launched the most successful food Kickstarter ever in 2012.
Sous vide uses heat induction from hot water to cook food perfectly. Similar to what the microwave did for busy households in the 1970s, the Nomiku makes it easy for busy people to cook delicious healthy food effortlessly. All you do is put food inside a ziploc or vacuum sealed bag, submerge it in a pot with Nomiku and walk away. Nomiku heats up the water and circulates it at an exact temperature until the meat, vegetables, etc. is cooked to perfection. When it’s done you have a world class meal ready to eat.
Before Nomiku, sous vide machines were much too expensive ($1000+) and complicated (dozens of settings) for the home cook. You simply press the screen to turn Nomiku on and off. Nomiku has one knob that you turn to adjust the temperature and a clear LCD screen that displays the temperature. It clips on to any pot you already own and can be stored away after use; it is the most compact immersion circulator in the world.
Why do professional chefs use the Nomiku?
There a many values to sous vide: it’s super easy, you can walk away, it’s precise, but most importantly the food is cooked perfectly. Professional chefs have been using the sous vide method for years, and now many of them have switched from large expensive sous vide machines to Nomiku for a few reasons. Nomiku is the smallest sous vide circulator on the market, and chefs travel a lot, so the nomiku fits easily into any carry on. The Nomiku is also the most accurate sous vide machine on the market because our unique semiconductor knows when the water overheats. We can consistently heat and circulate 5 gallons of water within 0.1 degrees.
Who are your main customers?
The folks we’re selling to right now are educated people who really enjoy food aged 25-65. The age range sounds broad, but “well-educated” really narrows down the initial market. Imagine the farmer’s market crowd, the line at Whole Foods, those who watch the Food Channel.
How do you educate consumers on this new way of cooking?
Sous vide is a completely new way of cooking for most; most home cooks don’t know about the quality and convenience. So we’re working hard to educate our current users, and encourage them to share their cooking experience with friends. Our new app has helped a lot. Using Tender, chefs can create, share, and adopt new sous vide recipes right from their phones. Even top chefs from all over the world have flocked to the app to exchange ideas, and all of our home users have access to these recipes and community.
How fast are you growing?
We just launched the Tender App and have already seen an uptick in demand for the Nomiku. We’ve sold over 18,000 units so far, all of whom use the Nomiku at least 3 times per week (we track usage). We’re also back ordered by another 10,000 units for Q4. We’ve made $1.3 million from Kickstarter and another $1.5 million from direct sales.
Are you marketing? How expensive are those customers?
We’ve done very little marketing, but for ‘paid’ customers our average cost of customer acquisition is ~$60. Early in the year - Q1 - that number is close to $200, but as the holidays approach our CAC drops to ~$30.
What are your margins?
Our machines cost $199 and we make 60% margins. This gives us a lot of room to spend on customer acquisition as we look to scale faster.
Tell us about the new Nomiku?
The new Nomiku is the first wifi enabled sous vide circulator. This is a huge deal for us from a marketing and education perspective because we’re now connected to chefs in the kitchen. We can educate users while they’re cooking, and users can share techniques and recipes via the app and on social media.
Communities are incredibly valuable for viral marketing, and we’ve created the first online chef community all centered around cooking with Nomiku. With WiFi our customers can all gather and cook together via the Tender app. The app also integrates with the Nomiku to assist chefs and help cook perfect meals in real-time. And onboarding has become a pleasure for our customers; they simply plug in the Nomiku, open the app, and walk step-by-step through their first sous vide meal. Retention has skyrocketed with the new Wifi Nomiku.
What other revenue streams do you see besides just selling the machine itself?
Absolutely. When we have the software we’ll be able to upsell old Nomiku users to the newest technology (WiFi at the moment). We currently sell sous vide ready food on our site, and will partner with Blue Apron and others to do the same. Once we’re the education and community hub for sous vide users, we can sell the community everything from food to accessories to upgrades.
How do you reach your customers?
Currently 80% of our sales happen online through our website and through Amazon. We also have several mom and pop stores selling the Nomiku, and with the release of the WiFi Nomiku,i we are exploring stores like Target, William-Sonoma, Best Buy, Costco, all the typical retail channels. Our retail partners must be willing to demo the Nomiku; it can’t just sit on the shelf because it’s such a new thing for most home chefs. Target has been great so far, as they’re excited to feature Nomiku at Target Open House, and will be our first big retail client.
Why is the demo so important?
Seeing is believing. Every new product suggests it cooks better and our marketing will get lost among the rest unless people actually taste Nomiku food. When you taste Nomiku, you never go back. It stops you in your tracks. It’s like experiencing a new fruit or a new food that you really love for the first time and now want to have every day forever. Tasting makes that connection for prospective buyers, and that’s why we’re so adamant about demos in our retails partners.
How did you get started?
My co-founder Abe and I are makers. Before Nomiku we taught at hacker spaces across the country where we built open source sous-vide kits that amassed a huge following. Our fans kept pushing us to make an actual appliance, so we went to China for three months to build the Nomiku. After which we returned to get married and begged the wedding photographer to make our Kickstarter video. The Kickstarter campaign was the largest ever in food - we made $600k in 30 days the first time, and then hit our goal in 6 hours during the second campaign for our WiFi Nomiku. The community support has been incredible, and the demand has only heightened in the months since.
What did you learn shipping the first Nomiku and how is Wifi Nomiku production coming along?
We learned a bunch about the manufacturing process while in China - after all we developed the first Nomiku for months living and working right next to our factory. We learned manufacturing from the bottom-up, and now we’re fully equipped to manufacturer and DFM in the United States. Our prices are actually lower here in the US because we learned from the first Nomiku and adapted the Nomiku Wifi for much cheaper production. The first Nomiku had over 100 parts and over 8 moving parts, but the WiFi Nomiku has only 8 parts that snap together, drastically lowering assembly costs.
The WiFi Nomiku will ship in October in time for the holiday season.
You’re trying to be thought leaders in sous vide. How are you doing that?
We will be the sous vide thought leaders. It’s super important that we lead the charge on education because once home chefs know the beauty of sous vide they’ll be clamoring for a Nomiku. We just inked a deal with Penguin-Random cookbook arm, Ten Speed, for the first ever sous vide cookbook. Ten Speed has published almost all of the best selling cookbooks on the New York Times bestseller list. They chose us over anybody else to make a book together because we created the category.
Who are your competitors?
No one else has developed an affordable sous vide circulator yet. Anova and Sansaire have products twice the size, and Julabo, PolyScience, and Sous Vide Supreme all make other expensive versions. These are all used by professionals but none is as portable, as easy to use, as affordable or as accurate as the Nomiku. We’re like GoPro was to video cameras for sous vide. Not many people took action videos a few years ago, but GoPro created an easy-to-use product that filmed HD video and subsequently created the market and demand. We’ve created an easy-to-use, affordable way to cook sous vide - we’re creating this market with the original content to support it just like they did.
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