US beverage brand MatchaBar has secured $8 million in a Series A funding round as it aims to rapidly expand its line of bottled and canned matcha drinks.
The round was led by a roster of celebrity investors, including musician Diplo, actor Ansel Elgort and American footballer Von Miller. They join Drake who invested in the brand last year.
To coincide with the funding, MatchaBar has launched Hustle, a sparkling matcha energy drink in a 12oz can.
Brothers Max and Graham Fortgang founded MatchaBar in 2014, creating a matcha café in New York. The brand launched a ready-to-drink version of its matcha beverages in 2015 and its products are sold to more than 1,000 accounts, including Whole Foods.
MatchaBar co-founder Graham Fortgang said: “MatchaBar lives at the heart of culture, which is why we could not be more humbled to have these artists, DJs, athletes, actors bring our mantra of ‘good things come to those who hustle’ to life.
“The language of energy is universal, and MatchaBar aims to deliver a better and more natural energy for today’s hustle. MatchaBar offers a sustained, focused energy, setting it apart from the jolt and crash associated with coffee, espresso and energy drinks that are currently out on the market. Partnering with a family farm in Japan, we source only the finest ceremonial grade matcha to deliver a product that simply works.”
Co-founder Max Fortgang said: “The key to disrupting the energy category is engaging culture and creating a lifestyle and set of values behind the brand and product. We’ve been building that on the ground for the past four years through our cafés, our activations across the country, and with meaningful partnerships investing in companies and individuals that are defining tomorrow. The hustle is real, and we are thrilled to share our journey as we set to become the next great American energy drink.”
Investor Von Miller added: “As an athlete and entrepreneur, I know all about that hustle. I am thrilled to be a part of the MatchaBar family as more than just an investor – to support their efforts to get a great drink out there in the marketplace for all, and to gift the hustle to my own friends, fam and fans.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2018
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