HANFORD, CALIF. — Beverage startup Agua Bonita has raised $2 million in an oversubscribed pre-seed round. Participating investors include Convivialite Ventures, Cedar Capital and Supply Change Capital.
Agua Bonita offers a twist on the traditional Mexican refreshment aguas frescas, flavored waters typically formulated with sugar and primarily available in fountain drink applications. The brand’s canned still beverages contain no sweeteners and are flavored with juice from imperfect or excess produce that would otherwise be wasted. Founders Kayla Castañeda and Erin PonTell launched the business last year after a previous venture was crushed by the pandemic.
“We’re thrilled to be in a position to bring a beautiful, traditional part of our culture to the masses in a modern way,” Ms. Castañeda said. “In a category that rarely sees innovation at scale, we are prioritizing health and wellness and encouraging consumer curiosity to bring people into our Bonita familia.”
Agua Bonita offers two varieties — pineapple cucumber and watermelon chile — that are sold direct-to-consumer on its website. The team plans to use proceeds from the fundraising to expand distribution and develop additional products and seasonal flavors.
“Agua Bonita is redefining the beverage category with the introduction of a healthy, no-added-sugar agua fresca, a drink that is a staple of the Latino community and one I certainly have retained affinity for in adulthood,” said Noramay Cadena, managing partner of Supply Change Capital. “With a modern, better-for-the-planet twist, they source upcycled fruits, bringing us what we know in a formulation that is better-for-us and dramatically reduces the environmental footprint of canned beverages.”