OAKLAND, CALIF. — Functional soda brand Olipop raised $30 million in a Series B funding round at a $200 million valuation.
Launched in 2018 by beverage entrepreneurs Ben Goodwin and David Lester, Olipop is on a mission to disrupt the soda industry with its gut-friendly formulation and nostalgic flavors. Each can of Olipop contains 45 or fewer calories, no more than 5 grams of natural sugars and 9 grams of prebiotic plant fiber, which is one-third of the daily recommended amount. Varieties include vintage cola, strawberry vanilla, classic root beer, cherry vanilla, ginger lemon and orange squeeze.
“Americans have enjoyed soda for over 125 years,” Mr. Goodwin said. “It has deep emotional and cultural resonance for consumers, and the category has become intertwined with our daily lives. Our goal has always been to offer a product that can truly occupy the space traditional soda has filled while also contributing to consumers’ well-being.”
Olipop will earmark the Series B funding to develop new products, grow its team, tap into new marketing channels and expand its e-commerce and wholesale channels. The round was led by Monogram Capital Partners, which led the company’s $10 million Series A fundraise in 2020, with participation from celebrity investors Camila Cabello, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Paul Klein, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Nick Jonas, Joe Jonas, Kevin Jonas, Mindy Kaling, Logic and Gwyneth Paltrow.
“These celebrities and talent will help us reframe consumer perception of soda within American culture,” Mr. Goodwin said.
Also contributing to the round were Indra Nooyi, former chief executive officer of PepsiCo; Jay Livingston, chief marketing officer at Shake Shack; Anjula Acharia, founder of A-Series Management & Investments; Payal Kadakia, founder of ClassPass; and Moj Mahdra, co-founder of Beautycon; and returning early investor Rocana Venture Partners. Nearly a dozen additional business and entertainment professionals also participated in the round, including leaders at TikTok, Snapchat, Equinox, Summer Fridays and more.
“Today’s consumers are increasingly focused on lower-sugar alternatives that don’t sacrifice taste and include functional benefits such as enhanced gut and immune health,” said Jared Stein, a partner at Monogram who is joining Olipop’s board as part of the $30 million fundraise. “We believe strongly in this mission and are excited to amplify our partnership to bring much-needed innovation and functional health benefits to a traditional soda offering that is so ripe in its need for better-for-you alternatives.”Olipop is one of seven emerging brands in the newly createdAlliance to Control Excessive Sugar. The group, which also includes Enlightened, HighKey, Koia, Lemon Perfect, Super Coffee and Three Wishes, provides discounts to shoppers as incentives to reduce sugar consumption.