Super Coffee, Backed by J. Lo and A-Rod, Nabs Over $500 Million Valuation
(Bloomberg) -- Kitu Life Inc., the startup behind Super Coffee that counts Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez among its investors, has more than doubled its valuation to over $500 million with its latest round of funding.
Henry Ellenbogen’s Durable Capital Partners led the $106 million round. Other participants include LivWell Ventures, the family office of Nutrabolt Chief Executive Officer Doss Cunningham, 7-Eleven Inc.’s venture arm, Boston Beer Co. CEO Dave Burwick, former Anheuser-Busch President Dave Peacock, Deep Eddy Vodka and Sweet Leaf Tea Co. co-founder Clayton Christopher, and former Amplify Snack Brands Inc. Chief Financial Officer Brian Goldberg.
“We’ve come a long way from our little brother’s dorm room,” Chief Executive Officer Jim DeCicco said. He co-founded Kitu Life in 2016 with his brothers, Jake, now chief revenue officer, and Jordan, the company’s chief operating officer. Super Coffee is currently available in only 40% of U.S. retail outlets. he said. “This partnership with Durable will fuel our distribution expansion, while allowing us to invest in national advertising and brand-building efforts.”
The company, which describes itself as the third-largest manufacturer of bottled coffee in the U.S., behind Starbucks Corp. and Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc., plans to use its fresh funding to build out distribution within convenience and mass channels. Already, Super Coffee products are available in retailers including Walmart Inc., Target Corp., CVS Health Corp. and Amazon.com Inc.’s Whole Foods. In April, Kitu named former Amazon.com executive Rosanna Godden, who worked on the Whole Foods acquisition, as chief financial officer.
“We are deeply impressed with what the DeCicco brothers have accomplished in such a short time,” Barry Henderson, a partner at Durable, said in an emailed statement, noting their pursuit of long-term, sustainable growth by increasing distribution and market share and building “a solid platform company for other healthy-lifestyle products.”
Beverages have become a popular investment category for celebrities, who’ve put money into products such as BodyArmor and Athletic Greens. Super Coffee’s previous investors include Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers’s Rx3 Growth Partners, actor Patrick Schwarzenegger and former basketball star Baron Davis.
Kitu has said it wants to use Super Coffee to help cut out sugar from the diet of everyday Americans. Last year, the company said that its products -- which include ready-to-drink beverages, pods, creamers and grounds -- eliminated the equivalent of 4.4 million pounds of sugar. It counts Anheuser-Busch InBev NV’s innovation arm, ZX Ventures, among its investors, and AB InBev as a distribution partner.
The company has attempted to build brand awareness through a TikTok challenge, curated Spotify play lists and activations at fitness hot spots including Barry’s Bootcamp and SoulCycle.
In mid-2020, Kitu raised $25 million in a round led by Skyview Capital. Last September, Lopez and Rodriguez made a joint investment in the company, then valued at more than $240 million, according to a statement at the time. The two celebrities have since split up.
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