PARIS — Danone Manifesto Ventures, the corporate venture unit of Danone S.A., has taken a minority stake in premium bottled water brand Kona Deep. Kailua-Kona, Hawaii-based Kona Deep Corp. said it has secured $5.5 million in financing, with other investors including Grand Crossing Capital and local Hawaiian supporters of the brand.
Launched in 2015, Kona Deep sources water 3,000 feet beneath the ocean’s surface. The water is said to contain natural minerals and electrolytes. The company is led by Patrick Turpin, former co-founder and president of Popchips.
|Pat Turpin, c.e.o. of Kona Deep|
“As we develop this new category of deep ocean water, we are excited to partner with Danone Manifesto Ventures and expand our relationship with Grand Crossing Capital,” said Mr. Turpin. “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.”
The investment is the fifth for Danone Manifesto Ventures, which was established in September 2016 to fund early-stage food and beverage and food technology companies. Other investments have included Yooji and Michel et Augustin in France, and Farmer’s Fridge and AccelFoods in the United States.
|Laurent Marcel, managing director of Danone Manifesto Ventures|
“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,” said Laurent Marcel, managing director of Danone Manifesto Ventures. “Kona Deep’s premium water has very attractive growth potential with consumers seeking great tasting water products with compelling hydration benefits.”
Kona Deep plans to use the investment to expand distribution, increase and optimize production capacity, and build brand awareness.
|Jean-Francois Hurel, head of investment of Danone Manifesto Ventures|
“We look forward to utilizing our resources and expertise and leveraging the significant operating experience of Kona Deep’s management team to capitalize on the opportunities ahead,” said Jean-Francois Hurel, head of investment of Danone Manifesto Ventures.