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Coca-Cola Leads $15M Investment in Dirty Lemon Parent Co. Iris Nova

The Coca-Cola Company announced on Dec. 20, the acquisition of a minority stake in Iris Nova, the parent company of functional beverage brand Dirty Lemon, leading a $15 million investment round that also included former baseball star Alex Rodriguez.

The world’s largest beverage company is now the largest investor in Dirty Lemon, which, since launching in 2015, has cultivated an enthusiastic audience on social media for its line of premium functional drinks that prominently feature on-trend ingredients such as turmeric and collagen.

Speaking with BevNET, Iris Nova CEO Zak Normandin said aligning with Coke gives the company the resources to be able to execute in a faster, more efficient way as it charts a path towards over $100 million in revenue by 2021.

“When we look at what we are trying to accomplish with Iris Nova, there really isn’t a better partner for us [than Coca-Cola],” said Normandin. “If you look at what Coke has accomplished globally with brands and distribution, it’s really something we are using as the model for Iris Nova and the brands we are launching. The partnership gives us the resources to be able to execute in a faster, more efficient way.”

The investment was made through Coca-Cola North America’s Venturing and Emerging Brands (VEB) unit, which is charged with identifying and supporting the growth of beverage brands with billion-dollar potential through investment or acquisition. Alongside Rodriguez, former AOL CEO Tim Armstron, and actress/entrepreneur Kate Hudson also participated in the funding round.

Peet’s Coffee Takes Majority Stake in Revive Kombucha

Peet’s Coffee has taken a majority stake in California-based kombucha brand Revive, giving the growing company a single long-term partner with which to build upon its existing growth. Terms of the transaction, announced in December 2018, were not disclosed.

Emeryville, Calif.-based Peet’s first invested in Revive in August 2017, leading a $7.5 million Series B funding round. In buying out the company’s previous investors – Wes Crain of Rodeo Ventures, Arif Fazal of Blueberry Ventures, Seth Rodsky of Strand Equity, Larry Kahn of Beechwood Capital, and Ilya Nykin, co-founder and managing director at Prolog Ventures – Peet’s and Revive co-founders Sean and Rebekah Lovett are now the kombucha maker’s sole remaining shareholders.

“We are really grateful for the financial partners we’ve had along the way, especially over the last three years,” Lovett told BevNET in December. “We wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for those people who believe in the brand, the taste of the product, and the people within it. Now more than ever, it’s just exciting to be singularly focused with Peet’s on the purpose of Revive and that’s to get this uniquely awesome tasting product to my Midwest brethren, someday.”

As Revive’s new majority stakeholder, Peet’s consumer division president Eric Lauterbach said the coffee company will continue to integrate kombucha across all channels, including at its cafes, in store coolers and particularly on draft. He noted that schools and offices where the brand currently sells cold brew coffee on draft have begun to order kombucha as well. The two brands may also be featured alongside each other at certain brand building or tasting events.