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Cafédirect moves into ecommerce through Kopi acquisition

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Cafédirect is moving into ecommerce through its acquisition of online coffee club The brand says it will use Kopi’s technology to create and sell direct small quantities of specialist coffee.

“This acquisition allows us to develop small batches of premium, bespoke coffees which it would not usually be possible for us to sell in supermarkets,” said John Steel, chief executive of Cafédirect.

“We were very impressed with the team, the technology and the superb product Kopi has built over the years and we’re excited to bring them into the business.”

Kopi was started in 2011 by Philip Wilkinson and Simon Lanson to offer monthly deliveries of high quality coffees. Today’s deal follows in the footsteps of previous ecommerce subscription acquisitions including Amazon’s buy of LOVEFiLM and more recently the sale of US coffee subscription club Tonx to the Blue Bottle Coffee Company.

Kopi co-founder Wilkinson said: “We’ve always known the coffee subscription sector needed a big, respected brand to drive awareness. Cafédirect has turned out to be the perfect partner for our mission: to bring the world’s best fresh coffee to coffee lovers every month.”

Cafédirect, founded 23 years ago, specialises in Fairtrade coffee and works with 38 small-scale coffee, cocoa and tea producer co-operatives in Latin American, Africa and Asia.

Kopi’s only outside funding to date has come from Cambridge-based incubator and digital marketing agency No price was put on the transaction today, but the company said it reached operational break-even in 2013.

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