Welcoming Ekos to the Portfolio
We were pleased to announce our investment in Ekos’s $21 million Series B, which closed just before the end of 2021, and are excited to partner with company CEO Josh McKinney and the rest of the Ekos team for the journey ahead. Offering a natively built business management software platform for craft beverage producers, Ekos not only operates in a market that many of us (responsibly) enjoy but also fits squarely in Catalyst’s “Democratization of Software” thesis.
The Democratization of Software is all about bringing enterprise software tools and capabilities to small and medium-sized businesses in underserved markets. Ekos is a hand-in-glove fit with this thesis, arming craft producers with the necessary tools to scale operations and diversify their distribution methods through intuitive and easy-to-use software. During our research, we found that nearly 90% of Ekos users were using pen, paper and spreadsheets to manage their operations prior to Ekos, underscoring the greenfield opportunity in this market and the need for a solution like Ekos. We’ve seen similar dynamics in other Catalyst portfolio companies, including MINDBODY, Clinicient, ChowNow and Weave, among others, and are confident in the opportunity ahead.
COVID hit the craft beverage industry hard, forcing taprooms, tasting rooms and bars to close while driving restaurants to adopt takeout and delivery options (enter ChowNow) for most of 2020 and early 2021. During the throes of COVID, Ekos helped its customers optimize operations and efficiency to combat increasing uncertainty. However, the craft beverage market has proved resilient and is seeing a resurgence as growth-minded producers want to expand their businesses and reach more consumers.
In response to the needs of its customers, Ekos has evolved into a complete solution, supporting craft producers from back of house operations to front of house commerce. This evolution is a manifestation of Josh’s vision and product leadership and is reflective of the entire team’s ability to execute toward a common goal. The company is deservedly the leading solution for craft beverage producers and will continue to grow, innovate and deliver value to help push the industry forward.
Stay tuned. While Ekos has an ambitious roadmap, it also has the right vision, team and strategy and we couldn’t be more excited to be a small part of the growth to come.