Here is an article about a Raleigh-based startup raising $1 million on a device that tracks keg usage in bars…
This is the elevator pitch from the article:
BruVue customers order sensors online, attach them to beer taps and can connect to the device on their smartphone “in minutes.” According to the company, the data it creates by tracking the pours helps bar owners control both waste and theft, saving them $12,000 per year in unaccounted loss. The data also helps distributors see account inventory levels and is used by breweries to validate ad and product performance. And it’s offered on a subscription basis.
This looks a lot like the Dor opportunity described by Michael Brand on this page, with a smaller potential audience. They are taking the “stay scrappy” path advocated on that page as well:
To do it, he’s [Chris Lorkowski] growing the team. Last year, he was the sole full-time employee. This year, there are five. And he’s hiring in software development, sales and marketing.
I have seen several teams try this problem. Usually it involves flow meters that complicate things. One of the interesting parts here is the simplicity.