LOS ANGELES — Plant-based nutrition beverage company Koia has closed an investment bridge round from a group of professional sports and entertainment icons. The new capital will support product innovation and retail expansion.
Founded in 2014, Koia offers a range of ready-to-drink protein shakes and smoothies that are free from dairy, soy and gluten. Products are sold in 17,000 stores nationwide, including Whole Foods Market, Target, Walmart and 7-Eleven. The brand is among the top fastest growing refrigerated beverages purchased on Instacart, according to the company. Koia said the latest funding caps a record-setting year of nearly $60 million in retail sales, marking 100% year-over-year growth and a 400% increase in sales within the past three years.
“As we continue to build this company and break ground in the beverage industry, we are thrilled for this incredibly talented and diverse group of investors to be part of our Koia family,” said Christopher Hunter, co-founder and chief executive officer of Koia. “Their voices and perspectives are meaningful in the conversation around health and nutrition, and they share our collective passion for creating better access to health. Their support is a testament to the power of the better-for-you product and plant-based movement.”
Celebrity investors include The Weeknd, Kevin Hart and his trainer Ron “Boss Everline, Kyler Murray, Ryan O’Reilly, Josh Bell, Cordae, Internet Money and Pink Sweats. Also contributing to the round were Karpreilly, AF Ventures, Monogram Capital and CircleUp. The round will lead to a larger Series B funding this summer, according to the company.
Mr. Paul, professional basketball player, previously teamed with Koia as an investor and partner, introducing a vending machine program serving Historically Black Colleges and Universities and donating 50,000 bottles of Koia to GoPuff customers nationally.“After working closely with Koia for the past several months, I can see how committed they are to building a successful business and helping people lead healthier lives,” he said. “With this new round of investors and friends joining the Koia Krew, we have even more potential to create opportunity and access for underserved communities.”