After enjoying strong growth over the past year, Massachusetts-based natural sparkling beverage brand Spindrift today announced the closing of a $10 million round of funding led by private equity firm VMG Partners. The round also included investment from Prolog Ventures, Karp Reilly, and other existing investors.
Spindrift, launched in 2010 as a craft soda company, has grown more than 800 percent over the last 24 months, according to a press release. The new funding, part of an open $15 million raise, comes after the brand completed a $7.2 million raise in January, 2016.
“We’re thrilled by the opportunity to continue our partnership with Spindrift,” said Robin Tsai, principal at VMG and a Spindrift board member, in a press release. “It is a superb brand, with fantastic products, and a talented and experienced management team.”
In an interview with BevNET, Spindrift CEO Bill Creelman explained that the company’s rapid growth made securing more working capital a primary objective for this funding round.
“It’s still very much a craft product,” he said. “It’s just now being done on a bigger scale.”
The company’s decision earlier this year to discontinue its soda line and transition away from the use of natural essences and flavors in its unsweetened sparkling waters has added new wrinkles to the its supply chain. After simplifying its sparkling water formula to just fruit juice and carbonated water, Creelman said the new investment would allow Spindrift to better meet the challenges of planning around crop harvest cycles and helping suppliers store the large quantities of fruits and other fresh ingredients required as the brand continues to scale up.
While noting that the brand’s shift in formulation and messaging towards “real” and “simple” call-outs was not directly related to the newest round of investment, he said that the move has given Spindrift a distinct identity and product offering that the new resources can support.
“Now that we are that very easy to understand, clear proposition, we are ready to get out there and tell the story in a clear way to consumers,” he said, adding that the company is making a significant multi-million investment at the processing level with its partners to ensure proper receiving and storage requirements are met.
Creelman also addressed the recent departure of CMO Strick Walker and thanked him for his contribution in helping shape the brand. Going forward, he said that investment would also be directed toward supporting digital marketing and innovation efforts, as well as sampling and other field marketing initiatives.
“Our job for the next several years will just be literally educating people about sparkling water and real ingredients and how our proposition makes sense in their sets, and where we sit amongst the other sparkling waters they may have on the shelf,” he said, adding that the company was still expanding its retail presence after spending its first five years in existence focusing exclusively building food service partnerships.”