Leading independent non-alcoholic spirits brand Lyre’s has completed its latest seed funding round, giving the business a valuation of €115m.
This makes Lyre’s the most valuable independent brand to date in the rapidly expanding no/low alcohol spirits category.
This milestone has been achieved in under 24 months of trading, during which time Lyre’s has become the most widely distributed non-alcoholic spirits brand – now available in 43 countries – generating double-digit monthly revenue growth with annualised sales on course to exceed €40m by the fourth quarter of this year.
The latest seed round was spearheaded by US-based Morgan Creek Capital Management and Bitburger Ventures. These enterprises join existing investors DLF Venture, VRD Ventures, SFO GmbH, Maropost Ventures and Döhler Ventures, all of which have followed on or increased positions in this round.
Funds raised will be used to accelerate geographic expansion, with Lyre’s targeting sales in 60 countries by year-end; build on existing product research and development capabilities; increase product inventory as the global hospitality sector reopens; and further invest in the company’s UK, European and American manufacturing capabilities.
The expanding Lyre’s portfolio of 13 premium non-alcoholic spirits is capable of crafting 90% of the world’s best-selling cocktails. Lyre’s is also capitalising on the demand for sophisticated, on-the-go adult beverage options, having recently launched three ready to drink (RTD) variants of its product into the US, Asia and Oceania, with UK and Europe launches imminent.
The business is currently entering an average of one new market per week and has already launched in markets such as mainland China. As a digital-first brand, direct-to-consumer sales currently account for a significant 48% of revenue, while Lyre’s has also gained partnerships that include WeightWatchers, listings with more than 20 major retailers, and availability in in-flight lounges such as British Airways and United Airways.
Mark Livings, Lyre’s co-founder and CEO, said: “The demand for non-alcoholic drinks and growth in mindful drinking is exploding. The no and low alcohol category already accounts for 3% of the total beverage market and is projected to grow by 31% by 2024. Alcohol consumption is reducing, with millennials drinking 20% less than their parents at the same age, and consumers are making healthier choices across a number of indulgent food and beverage categories without having to compromise on taste and social experiences.”
Mark Yusko, CEO and Founder of Morgan Creek Capital, commented: “Our Consumer Opportunities Fund is excited to be a lead investor in this round of financing for Lyre’s. We targeted a non-alcoholic spirits company as one of our core investments and Lyre’s met our criteria of a world-class management team with great tasting products and a strong brand in high growth mode. With a large product range of non-alcoholic spirits and RTD beverages, we believe Lyre’s is well-positioned to capture the tremendous growth in global demand in this category.”