Koji Drinks, a UK-based sparkling soft drinks brand, has completed a follow-on funding round from the Angel CoFund. Future Drinks Company, the makers of Koji, who were one of the first companies to receive funding from the UK Government-backed fund back in May 2012, launched Koji Drinks to the grocery trade this month. This round compliments previous funding from the Angel CoFund, Wren Capital and Arion One.
Koji Drinks, the premium, sparkling soft drinks brand, has completed a successful follow-on funding round of £150k from the Angel CoFund. Future Drinks Company, the makers of Koji, who were one of the first companies to receive funding from the Government-backed fund back in May 2012, launched Koji Drinks to the grocery trade this month. This brings the total funding to date to £500k, following a £350k first round by the Angel CoFund, Wren Capital and Arion One.
The Bristol-based company has developed an innovative production process, unique to KOJI, that infuses a complex extract of natural fruits and botanicals into spring water producing a range of delicious soft drinks without the need for adding large amounts of sugar. This is in response to the growing demand for healthier adult-style refreshments. Recognising the importance of the product, the Angel CoFund, a £100m Government-backed investment fund, worked with angel syndicates to back Future Drinks in their endeavour to remove sugar and sweeteners from the soft drink market. This latest funding will be used to support the re-launch of Koji Drinks and continue the team’s work.
Tim Chater, co-founder of Future Drinks, said of the launch: “We’re delighted to be working with the Angel CoFund again. We’ve been trialling Koji Drinks and are excited to be bringing the brand to the wider market. There are various Government and industry initiatives such as ‘Action on Sugar’ to reduce amount of sugar in processed foods. This is just one indication of the way attitudes towards sugar are changing. The support from the Angel CoFund has been fantastic for us; the funding and encouragement of our investors has been a driving force over recent years and we look for to continuing this relationship.”
Tim Mills, Investment Director of the Angel CoFund commented: “Future Drinks were one the fund’s first five investments, and it’s fantastic to see how the angel syndicate has supported the team since. The Angel CoFund is about getting cash to great British businesses that can scale, but also supporting them with more than just money. The skill, drive and passion of the team, along with their own, Japanese inspired, infusion process, really convinced our syndicate that this was an opportunity that could build into a successful brand. We look forward to continuing our work with Koji Drinks over the coming months.”
About Future Drinks Company
Luke Sapsed and Tim Chater set up Future Drinks Co Ltd in 2010 to develop a manufacturing process, product and brand to meet the increasing customer demand for taste, naturalness and low calories in a soft drink.
Tim Chater has a wealth of experience in the management and marketing of well-known soft drinks and low calorie products working for Zenith International, Nestlé Waters, Canderel and Premier Foods.
Luke Sapsed has worked extensively in selling into the premium on-premise trade sector for Scottish and Newcastle, Diageo and SAB Miller.
About Angel CoFund
Launched in 2011, the Angel CoFund is a privately run fund that works alongside groups of business angels to invest in high growth small and medium sized businesses across the UK, directly providing funding as well as encouraging the expansion of the business angel market.
Backed by the British Business Bank and the Government’s Regional Growth Fund, the £100m Angel CoFund is able to make initial investments of between £100,000 and £1 million into businesses, alongside syndicates of business angels.
To date the fund has supported more than 40 companies (for example Yplan, PlayJam and Micrima) providing over £17 million in direct investment alongside £65 million from business angels and other investors.
About Wren Capital
Wren Capital, whose managing partner is Rajat Malhotra (UK Business Angels Associations Angel Investor of the Year for 2013) specialises in early stage investing across a variety of sectors. Their portfolio currently includes companies in the life sciences, technology, energy, and high-tech engineering sectors. Their involvement is tailored to the needs of each business and they aim to be a supportive value-adding investor. They generally follow a co-investment model and have links with a number of universities, business schools, angel networks and a trusted network of high quality investors who share their investment philosophy.