Spark Grills aims to disrupt grilling with new funding round
The Boulder-based startup recently secured $3.5 million in funding, bringing its total funding to over $12 million
Spark Grills, a Boulder-based grilling startup, recently secured an additional $3.5 million in funding. The investment was led by Lerer Hippeau with participation from previous investors including Global Founders Capital, Bullish and Precursor Ventures. This brings the startup’s total funding to more than $12 million as it prepares to launch its product.
Spark Grills was started in 2017 to redesign the experience of charcoal grilling.
“I fell in love with cooking with wood and charcoal while living in Kenya. Cooking with wood and charcoal is a great experience that draws people in and makes for great food,” says Ben West, CEO of Spark Grills. “When I moved back to Portland, I wanted to continue cooking that way but it was basically impossible. I learned that 70% of grillouts today are with propane, so I was curious what it would be like to design the whole grill, to get it back in the mainstream.”
Now, three years after its inception, the startup is gearing up to deliver its first shipment of grills in July with a system meant to bring new precision and ease to charcoal grilling.
Spark Grills is launching with its sleek charcoal grill, app, and proprietary wood and charcoal Briqs system, which was invented by food and biomass scientists in Boulder. According to West, the Briqs — which are single-use sheets of charcoal made specifically for the Sparks Grill — are designed to ignite faster, burn steadier and make cleaning easier, compared to regular charcoal. Plus, you get the temperature control and flavor of charcoal that is lacking from gas grilling, he says. And the app? It allows you to monitor the temperatures of the grill and the food you’re cooking.
But the Boulder-based company is just getting started. Spark Grills used the funding from its previous two rounds — $2.1 million and $6.7 million, respectively — to get the company off the ground, hire a team and start production. Now, with its new $3.5 million investment and shipments almost ready to go, the investment will fund “continuous product innovation [of both the grill and the Briqs] and further our commercialization efforts,” West says. ‘“This is just the beginning for us.”
Going forward, Spark Grills will continue its pre-order sales and bring new innovation and possibilities to grilling. “The way our Briqs are made allow for endless flavor possibilities,” West says. “And because we manufacture our Briqs at our headquarters in Boulder, we can easily test and develop new flavor profiles.”