Another Israeli startup success: Hilal and Yanai Tubi are the driving force behind the Tubi 60 entrepreneurial story.
Israeli entrepreneurs have earned their country’s reputation as a Start-Up Nation. The term comes from the title of a best-selling book describing the tiny state’s over-sized reputation as the birthplace of fast-growing companies in technology, security, dining, and other industries. On a per-capita basis, Israel has attracted more venture capital, or VC, than any other country, and it has 30 times more VC investment than Europe.
Hilal and Yanai Tubi, the driving force behind the Tubi 60 entrepreneurial story, fit well into their nation’s start-up culture.
Hilal, 34, and Yanai, 23, started concocting a new distilled spirit at their family’s apartment in Haifa in 2012 as they felt that the drinks that are sold in shops just don’t cut it. The self-taught entrepreneurs learned the distillation process and worked with botanists, scientists and beverage industry professionals to formulate their unique drink recipe.
What they ended up with, after constant experimentation, was a yellow, cloudy but smooth and fun-to-drink 80-proof grain spirit. It features lemon, ginger, citrus fruits , herbs and spices and other organic ingredients.
The brothers first used their family apartment as a tiny distillery to make quantities only for themselves and later for a few friends. Word spread quickly, and friends of friends became devoted fans of Tubi 60. Later, a bar owner from Jerusalem called them asking what is Tubi and how may he get it to the bar as there were people entering there and asking if they serve it, before the brothers knew it, they were personally delivering orders with their cars on a daily basis, Of course after setting up an official distillery with all of health department approvals.
With absolutely no marketing, the orders started coming in from all over the country but when they got to Tel Aviv bars, that’s when the business really took off. They moved to larger, state-of-the-art distillery in Haifa in 2015.
Tubi 60’s first brush with fame came when the lead singer of the American band, Eagles of Death Metal, drank from a bottle during a performance and avidly extolled its virtues to fans. After the show, the band ordered cases of the drink for a party. Word got around quickly, and the spirit’s appeal skyrocketed.
Tubi 60 expanded to America in early 2017. The drink first gained popularity in thriving Texans cities where young hipsters hung out, and it then found distribution in New York, New Jersey, California, Florida and soon in more states. Tubi 60 is also available Norway, Hungary and will soon be introduced in Berlin.
The Tubi brothers must feel far removed from that Haifa apartment distillery by now as they watch the legend grow and their beloved Tubi 60 go global.
By: Ranata Moshkovich