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Author Sarah Kirton
Sarah Kirton
Updated on Jun 5th, 2023
Fact checked by Deborah Leigh

NINA 2023: Pay As You Pour

Meet Yair Marom, the Co-Founder and CEO of NINA. NINA is changing the game in the hospitality industry with its groundbreaking technology that enables safe, controlled self-pouring. Yair's passion for entrepreneurship and tech has driven NINA's development and growth, leading the company to introduce innovative solutions for more efficient and engaging customer experiences. Under his leadership, NINA has become a pioneer in enhancing the way people interact with their drinks, creating a safer and more innovative future for the beverage industry. DeliveryRank is excited to chat with Yair and learn more about his vision for NINA.

Can you share the story of how NINA was founded and what inspired you to create a pay-as-you-drink model?

NINA was born out of a desire to solve a problem in the hospitality industry. Co-founders Tal and Yair noticed that businesses needed help to provide a premium, hassle-free experience to their most valued customers, especially when it came to beverages. Starting with VIP suites at sports arenas in the US, they set out to revolutionize the way people enjoy drinks. Yair remembers a conversation with the president of the Sacramento Kings, who lamented the lack of options for getting a single shot or serve without missing part of the game or having to buy a whole bottle. NINA's technology is changing that, making luxurious, personalized drinks accessible to all.

Tal and Yair quickly identified a challenge in the hospitality industry: a shortage of workers in VIP settings made it tough for businesses to offer personalized, one-on-one service. They knew they needed to find a better way to create a luxurious experience for customers. Their solution? Self-pouring technology in every VIP suite. By enabling customers to pour their own drinks and pay for what they consume, NINA provides a premium experience that's both convenient and personalized. With a range of brands to choose from, customers can enhance their enjoyment of the game and hospitality. Plus, NINA's technology streamlines interactions for both employees and businesses.

NINA's founders saw an opportunity to transform the way alcohol is poured and consumed. With 65% of alcohol being poured in an uncontrolled environment, they knew there was room for improvement. By locking up bottles with cutting-edge technology and digitizing the pouring process, NINA's solution not only enhances the customer experience but also provides added values like safety and control. NINA's innovation addresses a key challenge in the rapidly evolving $1.5 trillion liquor industry, which is experiencing a shift toward premiumization and changing consumption patterns among younger generations. As needs change, NINA is poised to stay ahead of the curve.

NINA's founders recognized a huge opportunity for brands to connect with their customers in a more direct way. As direct-to-consumer trends gain momentum across the retail world, NINA saw a chance to apply this model to the liquor industry. By offering a direct-to-consumer option for pouring drinks, NINA could revolutionize a much larger market than just VIP suites. With its innovative technology, NINA empowers brands to engage with their fans in new and exciting ways.

The company knew that if its solution delivered a superior experience, businesses would embrace it. From sports arenas to hotels, Airbnb's, cruise ships, and beyond, the entire hospitality industry could benefit from NINA's innovation. This would create a powerful win-win-win scenario, with customers enjoying more convenience, safety, and control, businesses achieving greater efficiency and engagement, and NINA paving the way for a revolution in the industry.

Recognizing the risks associated with alcohol consumption, NINA saw an opportunity to make a positive impact beyond just providing a superior experience. By implementing controlled measures and incentivizing responsible behavior, NINA could help prevent underage drinking and promote sustainability through recycling. These additional features would provide the final piece of the puzzle, making NINA a substantial solution that could impact the entire market. This is the story of NINA - a company that is not only revolutionizing the hospitality industry but also striving to make the world a better place.

What can you tell us about the App and the features that it offers?

NINA is more than just an app. It's a complete ecosystem that uses the Internet of Things (IoT) technology to connect end-users, businesses, and various systems to create a seamless experience. With our patented hardware device, we've developed a locking system that ensures maximum security and access control. We've taken the traditional bottle out of the controlled cabinet and put it into the open, allowing for better control and only allowing authorized users access.

NINA's ecosystem comprises several components, including the hardware device, user app, dashboard, reports, and devices. Each of these components offers limitless possibilities to our users. With our dashboard, businesses can have real-time phone control to communicate with customers, and we also manage inventory, ensuring that we know exactly what's going on in every bottle. This enables us to recycle empty bottles, contributing to the sustainability of the entire industry by bringing the bottles back to the distillery.

Using NINA is easy. Just scan the secure code on the app and verify your age and credentials. Our payment solution connects instantly to the bottle, giving you the option to buy it, drink responsibly, or have it delivered to your home. We're here to support you every step of the way, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience. Our ecosystem of components works seamlessly together to provide a secure and sustainable solution.

Can you talk about any challenges or obstacles that NINA has faced in its journey so far, and how you have addressed them?

Our business faces three significant challenges. The first one is developing our ecosystem and IT system technology. It is a complex process to manage pouring, and we have invested considerable time in creating a unique user experience with safety food-grade septic cautions, hack-proof, and safety precautions. Hardware development is also a substantial expense and difficult to create.

We faced a second major obstacle - the COVID-19 pandemic. Our company was completely shut down for two years, and we had to think creatively and be flexible to survive. We researched and visualized the impacts of how the hospitality industry would look in the future, recognizing the shift towards more self-service options due to labor shortages. Our company found a specific niche to help businesses deal with the challenges of a post-COVID world, and we are committed to providing solutions that meet these evolving needs.

Dealing with the liquor industry presents a significant challenge due to legal restraints and potential danger. At Nina, we take every step carefully to ensure safety and create a positive impact on the world. Our goal is to revolutionize the industry and disrupt the market by introducing innovative technology that will bring significant changes to an industry that has remained largely unchanged for centuries.

Do you believe that NINA will change the way people drink? 

The IoT revolution is bringing exciting changes to the hospitality industry, and NINA is at the forefront of it all. With the ability to digitize pouring, we believe that NINA will change the way people interact with alcohol. The bottle is just a decanter, and it's the interaction with the fluid that counts.

NINA won't be limited to just the hospitality industry. We envision it being used in people's homes, Airbnb apartments, weddings, events, convention centers, cruise ships, and more around the world.

Looking ahead, we can even imagine metaverse bars where people can go out and have a drink in a virtual world. And we believe that NINA will be the gateway for liquor into the metaverse, as it's the only way to ensure that drinks are poured accurately, and payments are made. By using technology like NINA, we can revolutionize the hospitality industry entirely.

Looking ahead, what are NINA's goals and plans for the future, and how do you see the company evolving in the coming years?

Our expansion plan is already underway, with a successful funding round completed, and the first batch of devices set to launch this week. In the next few years, we aim to extend our reach to hospitality venues such as Airbnb rentals, sports arenas, and hotels. This expansion will create a win-win-win scenario - increasing business profitability, providing a new marketing vector, and benefiting NINA as a company.

Our ultimate goal is to revolutionize how people interact with brands, impacting the entire industry, including people's homes and the metaverse. We understand that brand awareness is a significant challenge for large companies like Diageo and Pernod, and we're thrilled to be part of the solution.

If you would like to find out more about NINA, visit https://www.drinknina.com/ or follow on https://www.facebook.com/drinknina or https://www.instagram.com/drinknina/

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