The world’s largest beer brewer has bought an Israeli beer startup for a price reportedly in the “tens of millions of dollars,” according to the Israeli business publication Calcalist.
In January, Belgium-based Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV acquired Tel Aviv’s Weissbeerger (weissbeerger.com/) for the latter’s beverage consumption analytics application, which Weissbeerger says creates a “connected bar.”
Weissbeerger’s “smart taps” can be placed on beer kegs to measure consumer drinking behavior in real time. They can tell a bar owner how much beer is being consumed, at what times, and which brands are the most popular. The data is analyzed and sent wirelessly to the cloud, where the bar owner can view what’s happening through a mobile iPad app.
The Weissbeerger system is also hooked up the bar’s cash register, so it can compare how much beer flows through the tap with the amount of money collected, reducing waste and minimizing the “freebies” given by bartenders to their friends.
ISRAEL21c first wrote about Weissbeerger’s “Google Analytics of beer” in 2013.
Beer is big business: the 40-person Weissbeerger team has raised $15 million, including from Israel Cleantech Ventures and a venture capital firm owned by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt.
Anheuser-Busch InBev is expected to transform Weissbeerger’s offices into the company’s R&D center in Israel. AB InBev was formed by the 2008 merger of Interbrew of Belgium, Brazil-based AmBev and American brewer AnheuserBusch. Headquarters are in Belgium with additional offices in London, New York City, São Paulo, Mexico City, Buenos Aires and Johannesburg. Total sales in 2016 were $45 billion, with nearly $15 billion in revenues in the last quarter of 2017 alone.
AB InBev includes some of the best-known suds in the business: Corona, Budweiser and Stella Artois. Add to that now Weissbeerger, which even though it has “beer” in it and translates loosely as “white lager” in German, was the maiden name of company CEO Omer Agiv’s grandmother.