Prebiotic soda brand Poppi, Austin, Texas, announced $25 million in new financing led by CAVU Consumer Partners. The funding comes after a year of meteoric growth for Poppi, in which the brand experienced 148% increase in overall revenue and a 250% increase in online sales, it says. The company also nearly doubled its retail presence (now in more than 20,000 doors nationwide) and became a Top 10 selling item in the grocery category on Amazon during its Prime Early Access Event, it says.
“I would have never imagined that what started as a homemade remedy for my chronic health conditions would go from the farmers market to ‘Shark Tank,’ and now, to some of the biggest retailers nationwide. The growth we’ve experienced these past two years is a testament to the demand for functional products that taste good and do our bodies good,” said Allison Ellsworth, co-founder of Poppi, in a statement. “I’m grateful to continue partnering with Rohan and the CAVU Consumer Partners team as we enter our next phase of growth.”
Rohan Oza, co-founder and managing partner of CAVU Consumer Partners, first invested in Poppi when co-founders Allison and Stephen Ellsworth appeared on ABC’s “Shark Tank” in 2018. Today, he sits on Poppi’s Board of Directors, as CAVU continues to invest in the brand while offering Allison and Stephen high-level counsel. Additionally, CAVU’s internal creative agency, UNCOMMON, has aided the brand in a number of ways, including leading the initial rebrand and award-winning packaging design, and working closely with the Poppi team since launch on their Amazon & eRetail strategy, digital media strategy, 360 brand campaigns and more, it says.
“Poppi is one of the fastest growing beverage brands I've ever been a part of,” Oza states. “Seeing what Stephen and Allison have done to date has been incredible and with a seasoned leadership team now in place, we believe Poppi will continue its meteoric growth, cementing their position as the modern soda of tomorrow.”
In its next phase of growth, the company is investing in establishing its C-Suite by bringing together seasoned food and beverage executives. This includes the appointment of Lana Buchanan as chief marketing officer, who previously held vice presidents roles at Anheuser-Busch and Campari. She joins CEO Chris Hall who was hired in May from Talking Rain and ex-Essentia chief financial officer Chuck Czerkawski.
In addition to establishing a best-in-class executive team, the new funding will enable Poppi to build upon its growth by further fueling sales growth, marketing, and innovation:
• Further expanding the brand’s omnichannel retail presence with plans to be in more than 30,000 retail doors nationwide by the end of 2023. They will also continue to drive volume on eRetail platforms like Amazon and Instacart, where this summer it was the ninth best-selling item in Amazon's grocery category and the fourth fastest growing beverage brand on Instacart, it states.
• Continued focus on breaking new ground in digital and TikTok. With the brand's early, breakout success on the platform that includes going viral multiple times, and now having more than 1 billion page views, Poppi will continue to focus efforts on solidifying its position as a category leader in content, community and growth.
• Further leaning into their digital first, brand building approach; investing in larger scale media, culturally relevant 360 campaigns, and disruptive partnerships across several verticals.
• Doubling-down on product development. Earlier this year, Poppi launched Cherry Limeade, a highly requested flavor among Poppi consumers, and sold out within one week and quickly became a best-selling flavor on Amazon and Target, it says.
Poppi is a leader in the functional soda category, which according to Research and Markets is expected to reach $173.23 billion in 2025. Poppi combines real fruit, apple cider vinegar, and less than 5 grams of sugar and 25 calories to create a delicious, refreshing prebiotic soda that improves gut health. It comes in nine different flavors and is available for a suggested retail price of $29.99 for a 12-pack.