Kombucha maker Health-Ade has secured a $20 million equity investment from The Coca-Cola Company, according to a report citing two sources familiar with the matter.
According to a proprietary report from Mergermarket, a subscription-based business intelligence and analysis provider, the transaction took place around early May.
Since 2014, Coke has been an investor in Los Angeles-based Health-Ade through First Beverage Ventures, a limited partner of the soda giant’s Venturing & Emerging Brands (VEB) unit.
In a separate report from April, Health-Ade COO Justin Trout told Mergermarket that in late 2018 the company had retained Piper Jaffray to help advise on inbound interest it had received from strategics and private equity firms, a process that has ended.
Trout told Mergermarket at the time that Health-Ade was not raising capital but is “open to everything” in terms of approaches regarding majority or minority investment.
Along with Coke, Health-Ade investors include CAVU Venture Partners.
In a statement shared with BevNET, Health-Ade co-founder and CEO Daina Trout wrote: “I knew we needed the right investor to support Health-Ade’s growth, and we found that partner in Coca-Cola’s Venturing & Emerging Brands [VEB]. VEB has been an investor in Health-Ade since 2014, and they have the potential to bring real value through their global distribution network, rich consumer intelligence, and so much more. Among many reasons we’re grateful for this relationship, we especially appreciate VEB’s faith in our leadership – co-founders Justin, Vanessa and me – to continue making significant contributions to the vision and success of this brand.”
“As a total beverage company, we are constantly looking for ways to evolve our product portfolio and bring people the beverages they want,” Coke said in a statement shared with BevNET. “In support of our total beverage company vision, Coca-Cola North America’s Venturing & Emerging Brands (VEB) group has increased its investment in the fastest-growing kombucha brand in the United States, Health-Ade. We have been a proud investor in Health-Ade since 2014 and continue to see attractive growth opportunities for the brand under the strong leadership of its founders Daina Trout, Justin Trout and Vanessa Dew. We look forward to continuing our partnership with the Health-Ade team as they take their business to the next level.”
Note: This article has been updated to include comment from Health-Ade and The Coca-Cola Company.