OAKLAND, CALIF. — Functional soda brand Olipop raised $30 million in a Series B funding round at a $200 million valuation.
Launched in 2018 by beverage entrepreneurs Ben Goodwin and David Lester, Olipop is on a mission to innovate the soda industry with a formulation that is gut-friendly and tastes nostalgic. Each can of Olipop contains 45 or fewer calories, no more than 5 grams of natural sugars and 9 grams of prebiotic plant fiber, which is one third of the recommended amount per day. Sodas include vintage cola, strawberry vanilla, classic carrot beer, cherry vanilla, ginger lemon and orange juice.
“Americans have enjoyed soda for over 125 years,” Mr. Goodwin said. “It has deep emotional and cultural resonance for consumers, and the category has become intertwined with our daily lives. Our goal has always been to offer a product that can truly occupy the space traditional soda has filled while also contributing to consumers’ well-being.”
Olipop is using the Series B funding to develop new products, grow its current team, explore new marketing channels, and expand its e-commerce and wholesale channels. The round was led by Monogram Capital Partners, which led the company’s $10 million Series A fundraise in 2020. There was added participation from celebrity investors Camila Cabello, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Paul Klein, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Nick Jonas, Joe Jonas, Kevin Jonas, Mindy Kaling, Logic and Gwyneth Paltrow. Mr. Goodwin says, “These celebrities and talent will help us reframe consumer perception of soda within American culture…”.
Indra Nooyi, former CEO of PepsiCo, also contributed to the round; Jay Livingston, Chief Marketing Officer, Shake Shack; Anjula Acharia, founder of A-Series Management & Investments; Payal Kadakia, founder of ClassPass; and Moj Mahdra, co-founder of Beautycon; and back early investor Rocana Venture Partners. Almost a dozen other business and entertainment professionals also took part in the round, including leaders from TikTok, Snapchat, Equinox, Summer Fridays and others.
Jared Stein, a colleague from Monogram, joined the Olipop board as part of a $30 million round and explained, “Today’s consumers are increasingly focused on lower-sugar alternatives that don’t sacrifice taste and include functional benefits such as enhanced gut and immune health…We believe strongly in this mission and are excited to amplify our partnership to bring much-needed innovation and functional health benefits to a traditional soda offering that is so ripe in its need for better-for-you alternatives.”
Olipop is one of seven emerging brands in the newly created Alliance to Control Excessive Sugar.