With the sparkling water category booming, Spindrift has completed a $20 million funding round financed by its existing investors.
Speaking with BevNET earlier today, Spindrift founder and CEO Bill Creelman said he is “a big believer” in lead investor VMG’s model of operation and called the private equity firm a full partner in guiding Spindrift’s strategy and growth.
“For fast-growing businesses in competitive channels, you really need every advantage you can get,” Creelman said. “In sparkling water right now, it feels like daily there’s new entrants coming in. For us, VMG has been able to provide that extra edge as we’ve grown, whether it’s on the hiring or team side, or the supply chain side, or in expanding our trademark. All of that we have done better, quicker, smarter because of their involvement.”
Prolog Ventures, KarpReilly, and RiverPark Ventures also participated in the B-2 funding round. According to Creelman, all of the investors have worked with the brand for at least two years, adding he appreciated the “unwavering” dedication each one has for the brand and the growing sparkling water category.
The investment comes as Spindrift prepares to launch an ambitious scaling initiative that aims to triple its existing distribution footprint to more than 25,000 stores by the end of 2018. That projected growth will require upgrades to the company’s supply chain for fresh produce and new equipment, such as silos, at the company’s production facilities.
“For us, it’s critically important that our product continues to be delicious and that we put all this equipment in place at the farms so that we’re never compromising as we grow,” Creelman said.
The new funding will also be directed towards a national marketing campaign, which will support Spindrift’s recent entry in retailers such as Whole Foods, Starbucks, and Kroger and highlight the brand’s use of “real” ingredients.
Calling it a “360 marketing campaign,” Creelman did not specify what channels will be involved, noting the company is working with an agency and seeks to use the “real” theme in a variety of inventive ways.
As the company’s distribution grows, Spindrift is still rolling out new innovations, most recently debuting a “Half and Half” blend of tea, squeezed lemon juice and sparkling water at Natural Products Expo West 2018 last week in Anaheim, Calif.
“It’s a really exciting time for the business,” Creelman said. “But we still feel like we’re just getting started. Sparkling water is just starting to show up on people’s radar as an important category.”