Maybe it isn’t all Kosher to write about this on a beverage site, but look at the roster at Krave Jerky and you understand that the team isn’t just wet behind the ears — it’s fully immersed in liquid studies.
Chocolate maker The Hershey Company announced that it was picking up the gourmet meat snack company — which had reported sales of about $35 million in the last 12 months — earlier this morning. That’s a boon for both key investor ACG — yes, that’s the same fund that has twice invested in fast-growing juice company Suja. In fact, both ACG investments were part of the recently-released Forbes list of America’s Most Promising Companies. ACG is also an investor in new wave burger chain Shake Shack, which is nearing a reported $80 million IPO.
Meanwhile, the Krave board features a couple of beverage pros — Brad Barnhorn, who has ties to numerous beverage companies, including board seats with Kevita and Zola, alongside a other food companies, and Jim Foltz, who runs Safeway’s venture capital shop, which is rumored to have invested in several beverage companies as well.
Krave’s senior sales staff includes ex-Vitaminwater aces like Frank Zampardi and Andy Steele. It receives legal advice from the Giannuzzi Group, which also advises several high-profile beverage companies, including Vita Coco and Runa.
And at the top, Krave’s CEO and Founder is Jon Sebastiani. Sebastiani, who said today that he expects to continue to run the company as president of a separate operating unit from its base in Sonoma, Calif. Sebastiani also has ties to the beverage industry, as his family started one of the area’s seminal wineries, Sebastiani Vineyards.
Reuters reported that the deal was between $200 and $300 million.