Hawaiian bottled water brand Kona Deep has secured $5.5 million in financing from investors including Danone Manifesto Ventures, the venture arm of Danone.
Kona Deep intends to use the investment to support its growth by expanding distribution, increasing and optimising production capacity and raising awareness of its deep ocean water, which it says is ‘naturally rich in electrolytes’.
Alongside Danone, Grand Crossing Capital and local Hawaiian investors have supported the brand.
After launching in late 2015, Kona Deep has recently expanded onto the US mainland where the demand for premium waters and performance waters is growing rapidly.
Kona Deep claims to be creating a new category of water with its deep ocean water, sourced 3,000 feet below ocean surface in Kona, Hawaii, from a pure source with natural minerals and no additives used during the process.
Once brought to the surface, the water is desalinated and bottled at the source, retaining natural minerals and electrolytes.
Last year, research by the University of Arizona revealed that bottled deep ocean water helped to hydrate consumers ‘twice as fast’ as some rival products.
The study also found that subjects demonstrated significantly improved recovery of lower body muscle performance following rehydration with Kona Deep compared to sports drinks and mountain spring water.
Last year Kona Deep CEO Patrick Turpin spoke to FoodBev about the growth of the brand and how it differs from many other bottled waters which have ‘artificially added electrolytes’.
Speaking of the latest investment, he said: “Danone Manifesto Ventures is part of a group that has significant expertise with premium water brands globally, is aligned with our core values, and is focused on a business sustainability agenda, making them a great partner for Kona Deep.
“We look forward to working together to execute on our growth initiatives and provide consumers with great-tasting, sustainable and natural bottled water with real hydration benefits.”
Danone Manifesto Ventures is the corporate venture unit of Danone and was created in September 2016 to invest in early stage, disruptive food and beverage, and food technology companies.
It partners with companies that share its vision of a healthy and sustainable future of food and leverages its experience to support its partners’ growth as a collaborative investor.
The investment in Kona Deep is Danone Manifesto Ventures’ fifth investment since inception. In September it become a shareholder of French baby food start-up Yooji.
Danone Manifesto Ventures managing director Laurent Marcel said: “Kona Deep is a great strategic fit for Danone Manifesto Ventures, creating a new water category with a strong focus on taste, hydration and sustainability and supported by a highly talented management team.
“Kona Deep’s premium water has very attractive growth potential with consumers seeking great tasting water products with compelling hydration benefits.”
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