The Colorado Impact Fund, which is managed by an affiliate of Vestar Capital Partners, has made an investment of $3 million in Bhakti Chai. Also, John Foraker, president of Annie’s Inc has been added to Bhakti’s board. Based in Boulder, Colorado, Bhakti is a maker of chai tea.
(Denver, Colo.) – March 2, 2015 – The Colorado Impact Fund (CIF), a private equity fund dedicated to supporting local companies that generate consistent investment returns in addition to positive community impact in Colorado, has selected Bhakti Chai, a Boulder-based manufacturer of fresh, craft-brewed chai tea to be the recipient of its first investment of $3 million in growth capital. Bhakti was founded in 2007 by Brook Eddy, a female entrepreneur who, after traveling to India, developed her own chai recipe —which she began bottling and selling throughout Boulder. Bhakti is the only fresh chai on the market and the company has grown significantly in recent years to become a national brand by rolling out new products and increasing distribution channels.
“Bhakti Chai is a wonderful example of the entrepreneurial culture we have here in Colorado, and we congratulate the company for being chosen for CIF’s first investment,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “The Colorado Impact Fund was started last year by a thoughtful group of community leaders and investors determined to make Colorado an even better destination for entrepreneurs. By providing equity financing and a roster of some of our best business leaders as advisors, CIF is yet another tool available to make Colorado business friendly and a great place to work and live.”
The Colorado Impact Fund selected Bhakti Chai as its first investment because of the company’s numerous business merits in addition to an unwavering commitment to fresh, sustainably sourced ingredients—certified organic, Fair Trade and non-GMO. Bhakti is a certified B-Corp, which reflects its commitment to community impact and its rigorous environmental standards, including zero waste manufacturing practices and use of only sustainable packaging.
“We are honored and thrilled to be partnering with CIF to bring Bhakti Chai to more consumers across the country and illustrate that businesses can have a positive social impact and provide returns for the community, state and stakeholders,” said founder and CEO Brook Eddy. “It’s a dream come true to have financial partners so supportive of our vision and our brand while also encouraging social impact.”
A portion of the $3 million CIF investment proceeds will be used to help Bhakti Chai support the build-out of a larger manufacturing facility in Longmont, Colo., support the company’s sales and marketing efforts, and expand distribution nationwide.
“The Colorado Impact Fund is very proud of our investment in Bhakti Chai,” said managing partner of CIF, Jim Kelley. “Founder and CEO Brook Eddy is a talented and mission driven entrepreneur who has built an authentic brand for consumers in the rapidly growing category of craft brewed chai, teas and coffees. Brook has built her business grounded in sustainable practices and charitable giving to causes supporting women, girls and the environment. She’s an entrepreneur who Colorado can be proud of, and we’re excited to be her partner going forward.”
As a part of the transaction, John Foraker, President of Annie’s, Inc. and a prior angel investor in Bhakti Chai, will be joining the company’s board. “Bhakti Chai is a brand I support and admire. Not only because of its authenticity and thoughtful growth, but its unique product offerings and focus on doing business right,” said Foraker.
About Colorado Impact Fund
The Colorado Impact Fund is a private equity fund, managed by an affiliate of Vestar Capital Partners, which is dedicated to supporting local Colorado companies that generate consistent investment returns in addition to positive community outcomes. Investors in the Fund include some of Colorado’s most respected executives, families, foundations and corporations, each of whom is committed to making a difference in the State of Colorado and beyond. Targeting investments of $2 million to $6 million in the areas of community health, natural resource conservation, education and workforce development and economic development, the Colorado Impact Fund leverages its collective experiences, resources and networks to help Colorado entrepreneurs create exceptional and lasting companies. For more information visit www.coloradoimpactfund.com.
About Bhakti Chai
An interest in social action and a passion for travel led Bhakti Chai Founder and CEO Brook Eddy to India in 2002 to research a movement based on the principles of Bhakti, or “devotion through social action.” In 2007, Bhakti Chai was born with the vision of fusing sustainably sourced ingredients, artisan craft-brewed products and the values of triple bottom line business. This vision and leadership continue to permeate the company’s spicy blends by championing women and girls through charitable contributions and scholarships and blending beverages into a crusade for a better world. Bhakti Chai concentrates and ready-to-drink chai are available at Whole Foods Markets, natural and independent markets, Costco, Kroger, Target and cafés around the country. http://www.bhaktichai.com.