Funding Briefs: Sipp, Coconut Cartel Land Equity Investments

sipp gingerblossomNews of a couple notable investment rounds recently hit our desk, with organic soda brand Sipp and Coconut Cartel, which markets coconut water sold in unopened coconuts, each securing new equity financing.

Emil Capital Partners once again provided the latest funding for Sipp Eco Beverage Co., the third time since 2012 that the private equity firm has invested in its Sipp Sparkling Organics brand.  Emil is also an investor in CherryPharm, which markets the Cheribundi line of tart cherry drinks and functional water brand Balance Water. Sipp founder and CEO Beth Wilson-Parentice told BevNET that the funds will be used to increase production of the company’s four-SKU line of organic drinks, which has in recent months landed new distribution in a variety of grocery retailers and restaurant chains, including Cost Plus World Market, Whole Foods, Le Pain Quotidien and Luna Grill.

Wilson-Parentice declined to reveal the amount of new investment nor whether Emil is a majority shareholder in Sipp, which is based in Philadelphia. However, she did say that Sipp will continue to expand its sales and marketing team, having recently added Lorina veteran Josh Rosinsky as its vice president of sales. Wilson-Parentice also stated that Sipp, which is sold primarily along the East and West Coast will hire a new sales manager to head up its restaurant and foodservice business.

coconutcartel_300About 1,200 miles south of Sipp headquarters, Miami-based Coconut Cartel has secured a new investment from Liquidus 5, Inc., a private equity and real estate investment firm headed by Mark Kreisler. Coconut Cartel sells whole El Salvadorian coconuts that are laser-etched with brand’s name and marked with a red dot, indicating the ideal spot to get to the liquid.

Kreisler said that the funding gives Liquidus 5 a 48 percent stake in Coconut Cartel, and while he declined to give an exact dollar figure for the investment he did state that it was under $1 million.

The funds will be used for growth in three areas, Kreisler said, including a push for national distribution beginning with new placement of the brand in California and Las Vegas. He noted that the company will also invest in sales support for the new markets, as well as an effort to ramp up production of its coconuts. Kreisler described Coconut Cartel as a vertically integrated company that controls the farming of its coconuts in El Salvador. Some of the financing will go to the purchase of new manufacturing equipment for use in the production and preparation of the coconuts.