Coffee is a very addictive drink because of its amazing flavor and caffeine level. With 200 Starbucks in Manhattan alone four men came up with a way to give them competition, it’s called Cups. Cups promises to do for caffeine what Netflix did for TV: roll a whole bunch of content into monthly subscriptions.
Each and every day, millions of customers flow through Starbucks stores in more than 60 countries. It has over 200 locations in Manhattan alone, which explains why it’s hard to walk a few blocks in the city without seeing the green logo. But an Israeli startup that soft – launched in New York City last week just might be the David to Starbucks’ Goliath.
The content, in this case, is local cafes, and the subscription is an unlimited plan for the caffeinated drinks they serve up. For $45 a month, you can use the app to order as much tea and basic hot coffee as you want at any of Cups’ 28-and-counting member locations; for $85 you can add lattes, iced coffee and other espresso-based beverages into the mix. And as part of the soft-launch, everything is free if you download the app.
Imagine that for a second! What would it be like to have unlimited coffee for $45 a month? It seems too good to be true, well it’s not actually.
Gilad Rotem, a co – founder of Cups, drinks four or more cups of drip coffee or Americano a day, and doesn’t beat around the bush about what Cups is after.
“Our goal for Manhattan is 200 coffee shops,” he says, “which is the same number as Starbucks locations.” “We see Cups as a new kind of coffee shop chain,” Rotem says. “We’re uniting independent coffee shops together and giving them economics of scale and tools that they cannot get by themselves, but keeping their independent atmosphere. It’s a chain of independence.”
In retrospect, the Cups business model seems like it’s filling an obvious hole in the market. Coffee is something that many people use every day, yet it’s still sold primarily à la Carte; those costs can easily add up to over $100 a month.