Agua Brands has landed a minority investment from Horizons Ventures, the Hong Kong-based private investment arm of Asia’s long-running richest man, Li Ka Shing. The flavored, caffeinated water brand announced the investment in a press release Monday, with Agua president Michael Venuti stating the brand “will have a tremendous platform and international presence working as partners with a global powerhouse whose brand and technology investments have shown internationally acclaimed success.”
Company co-founder and former Glaceau COO Carol Dollard echoed Venutt’s sentiment in a call with BevNET, saying Agua’s strategic alliance with Horizons will allow the brand to take advantage of the investment firm’s massive global network spanning the food, beverage, and technology industries. Specifically, the partnership will make way for Agua Brands’ expansion outside the United States, beginning in Asia, where Dollard says Horizons Ventures “sees immediate opportunity for the energy line.” Dollard declined to disclose the size of the investment. A Securities and Exchange Commission record indicates that the company recently completed a raise of $3 million; Christopher Lai, who works at Horizons, is also named as a director of the company on the same record.
Previously known as Agua Enerviva, the brand dropped the second half of its name in May as part of a greater brand revamp which also saw new labels and the addition of a “Low Calorie” call-out on towards the bottom of its bottles in an effort to distance itself from other higher calorie beverages in the enhanced water category. The brand furthered its move in that direction in September with the launch of its zero-calorie and caffeine-free “Fruit Essence” line extension.
In April, Horizons Ventures (alongside music and fashion moguls Russell Simmons and Kimora Lee Simmons) announced a $15.95 million investment in fat-burning beverage brand Celsius. At the time, Celsius CEO Gerry David said joining forces with the private investment firm would “broaden our reach across consumers and further strengthen our position in both domestic and global markets.”