It seems there is demand for better coffee cup lids.
Vaporpath, a Seattle-area company that manufactures the Viora Lid, has raised another $1 million to help fuel production of its innovative coffee lids and is looking to reel in an additional $1.5 million to complete a Series A round. Backers include Seattle angel investor Geoff Entress and tech vet Rick Hennessey.
The 2-year-old startup, based in Bainbridge Island, Wash., is led by former Microsoft director Barry Goffe and has now raised more than $1.6 million to date.
The Viora Lid, invented by Vaporpath founder Doug Fleming, differs from a traditional plastic cup lid in a variety of ways. It is designed to mimic sipping coffee or tea out of a ceramic cup by bringing a drinkable amount of liquid into the well on top of the lid, rather than requiring the user to pull liquid out of a small hole. It also eliminate splashes and gives the user a more intense aroma of their drink.
Vaporpath counts more than 275 shops now using its coffee lids across North America, including top premium coffee companies like Intelligentsia Coffee (acquired by Peet’s in October) and La Colombe (acquired by Chobani Yogurt founder Hamdi Ulukaya in August).
“These may not necessarily be household names, but for people who are serious about their coffee, these are among the biggest names in the business,” Goffe noted.
While Vaporpath is adding 2-to-3 customers per week, Goffe — the company’s sole employee — sees potential for even more growth. The fresh cash will be used to pay for a larger production line and to help manufacture a smaller version of the Viora Lid for 8-ounce cups.
“We have a long list of customers waiting for both sizes to be available before switching over to the Viora Lid,” Goffe explained. “We expect that this will give us a huge sales boost. As the smaller lid is the predominant size outside of North America, it will also open up a host of foreign markets that have already indicated strong interest.”
The new investment will also be used to add employees and expand Vaporpath’s patent portfoilo, Goffe added.