Humm Kombucha Raises $8M Led By VMG Partners

Just a few months after its last fundraise, Humm Kombucha is building on its momentum from last year to continue expanding.

Paperwork filed on Monday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reveals that the Oregon-based brand has raised over $8 million in a new Series B fundraising round led by Velocity Made Good (VMG) Partners.

“VMG is one of the most well respected CPG private equity firms in the country,” Danek wrote in an e-mail to BevNET. “They have a lot of industry expertise and are really good at what they do. Plus they have a great team. We LOVE to partner with fun people that are experts in their field. I believe the outcome is overwhelmingly in our favor.”

According to the filing, Humm has raised $8.08 million, or about 80 percent, from a total offering amount of $10 million in equity financing. This follows the close of two funding rounds in 2016: the brand raised $1 million from six investors in June, then brought in another $3 million in equity and debt financing from 24 investors in December.

After Massachusetts-based Spindrift Beverage Co., Humm is now the second beverage brand to receive investment from VMG Partners, a private equity firm with a portfolio that includes Kind Healthy Snacks and Health Warrior; prior investments include Pirate’s Booty and Vega, each of which have since been acquired. Seattle-based independent middle market investment bank Cascadia Capital Inc. brokered the deal.

Speaking with BevNET, VMG vice president Jonathan Marshall said that the firm has had a long-term interest in beverages, but hadn’t found the right set of partners within the space prior to meeting Spindrift founder Bill Creelman and, subsequently, Humm CEO Jamie Danek.

“We are really impressed with the brand that they’ve built to date and the distribution they have been able to gain,” he said. “There are a lot of things that have to line up in order for a deal to get done and for us, first and foremost, that is about the partnership.”

“It’s a good combination of confidence and humbleness,” Marshall continued. “They’ve been quick to recognize where they need to add folks to their team to help them in areas where they may not have expertise, and as a result, over the course of the last six to eight years, they’ve really built out a pretty amazing team of folks underneath the founding group that has been able to achieve everything you see to date in the market.”

The SEC filing also shows that several individuals will be joining an expanded board of directors. Marshall is listed along with founding partners Kara Cissell-Roell and Dave Baram.

Danek said that the investment would relieve the burden of constant fundraising and allow the company to focus on running the business.

“For the first time in company history, we’ll be funded,” Danek wrote in an e-mail. “We’ve been pretty scrappy and have been working on a shoestring for many years.”

After launching in Target stores nationwide and opening a new production facility last year, Humm has expanded its distribution, having recently launched in Walmart and Publix stores, as well as in the Pacific region for Whole Foods, which includes California, Hawaii and Arizona.