US organic tea company Cusa Tea has completed a $2.5 million Series A round of financing as now aims to expand distribution and product development.
Break Trail Ventures and S Cap led the investment round, with participation from existing and new investors, including Organic X Labs, Smart Capital and Service Provider’s Capital. Jay Hirsch of Break Trail Ventures and James Cali of S Cap will join Cusa Tea’s Board of Directors.
The investment brings the instant tea maker’s total funding since launching to $3.6 million.
Based in Boulder, Colorado, Cusa Tea uses organic teas with real fruits and spices, which are then cold-steeped using the firm’s technology. Current flavours include organic English breakfast, organic green tea, organic oolong, mango green, lemon black, chai, and peach green.
“Cusa Tea is innovating in a huge, but stagnant category,” said Jim Lamancusa, founder and CEO of Cusa Tea. “The tea category hasn’t seen anything new for a very long time. With our patented cold-brew, evaporative dehydration process, we can deliver a premium cup of tea in seconds with any temperature of water, anywhere, all without sugar or artificial flavourings. We only use organic tea and real fruit and spices.
“Retailers love the fact that we’re bringing something new to the tea aisle and allowing tea drinkers to make premium tea wherever they go, without the need for hot water, steeping a tea bag and then finding somewhere to dispose of the wet, soggy bag.”
Current Cusa Tea flavours include organic English breakfast, organic green tea, organic oolong, mango Green, lemon black, chai, and peach green.
He added: “This funding comes at a perfect time. Adding this many new retailers and new products in such a short period of time is very expensive. Our Series A will allow me to expand our team, support our existing retailers, grow into new retailers, as well as launch some exciting new products. Our technology can be used for all beverages, not just tea, so we look forward to bringing other healthy and convenient beverages to the market very soon.”
Since launching in 2017, Cusa Tea has expanded to more than 1,400 retail locations with partners including Sprouts, REI, King Soopers, Safeway, HEB and Cost Plus World Market.
S CAP founder Jim Cali said: “Cusa Tea is a breakthrough in the tea category and offers the potential for disruption across the broader healthy beverage market. We have found it to be a superior cup of hot tea, winning medals at the Global Tea Championship versus the best loose leaf and bag competitors in the world. It also mixes quickly in cold water, transforming a bottle of water into a superior iced tea drink.
“Given its taste, versatility and clean label, there is nothing like it on the market. We see huge potential for Cusa as a platform extending its reach in the broader functional and refreshment beverage space. S CAP is thrilled to part of the Cusa Tea team.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019
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