AUSTIN, TEXAS — Functional soft drink brand Poppi has raised $25 million in new financing led by CAVU Consumer Partners.
Founded in 2015, Poppi’s line of low-sugar sodas is formulated with organic apple cider vinegar, organic agave inulin and fruit juice. Flavors include strawberry lemon, raspberry rose, orange, ginger lime, watermelon, cherry limeade, cola, root beer and Doc Pop. The products are sold in more than 20,000 retail outlets nationwide. Over the past year, the company posted a 148% increase in overall revenue and a 250% increase in online sales.
Rohan Oza, co-founder and managing partner of CAVU Consumer Partners, previously invested in Poppi when married co-founders Allison and Stephen Ellsworth appeared on the reality television series “Shark Tank” four years ago. He sits on the brand’s board of directors.
“I would have never imagined that what started as a homemade remedy for my chronic health conditions would go from the farmers market to ‘Shark Tank,’ and now, to some of the biggest retailers nationwide,” said Ms. Ellsworth, co-founder of Poppi. “The growth we’ve experienced these past two years is a testament to the demand for functional products that taste good and do our bodies good. I’m grateful to continue partnering with Rohan and the CAVU Consumer Partners team as we enter our next phase of growth.”
The new funding will support sales growth, marketing and new product development efforts. Poppi plans to expand its retail footprint to more than 30,000 doors nationwide by the end of 2023, while continuing to drive volume on online grocery platforms.
Additionally, Poppi expanded its leadership team, naming former Anheuser-Busch executive Lana Buchanan as chief marketing officer. Ms. Buchanan joins beverage industry veterans Chris Hall, chief executive officer, and Chuck Czerkawski, chief financial officer.
“I’m honored to join Poppi at a time when the company is taking ownership of the functional beverage category,” Ms. Buchanan said. “As a career-long marketer, it’s also a dream to partner with Rohan Oza and the CAVU Consumer Partners team, who has a history of identifying and investing in brands that have both created and changed categories. Together, we are turning Poppi into a legacy brand that will serve as soda for the next generation.”