Non alcoholic spirits brand Lyre’s, has been valued at more than $179 million (AUD) following its third seed funding round making it the world’s most valuable independent no/low alcohol spirits category.
It is an extraordinary milestone for the business which has been trading for under two full years. Now available in 43 countries, Lyre’s is the most widely distributed non-alc spirits brand and is forecast to achieve annualised sales in excess of $62 million by the fourth quarter of this year.
This latest round of fund raising will support Lyre’s is target for 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.
Mark Livings, Lyre’s co-founder and CEO said, “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.
“Lyre’s has built a brand in the most challenging of market conditions and as we position the business at the threshold of the hospitality resurgence, our goal is to be ubiquitous in all major markets so that anyone, anywhere can say: ‘make my drink a Lyre’s’.”
Investors in this current round include US-based Morgan Creek Capital Management (early-backers of Alibaba, SpaceX, Lyft, Drizly NinjaVan and Allbirds) and Bitburger Ventures (the investment arm of the German brewing dynasty) and join existing investors, DLF Venture, VRD Ventures, SFO GmbH, Maropost Ventures and Döhler Ventures which have all followed on or increased positions in this round.
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.”
As a digital-first brand, direct-to-consumer sales currently account for a significant 48 per cent of revenue and has gained global partnerships including WeightWatchers, listings with more than 20 major retailers, availability in in-flight lounges such as British Airways and United Airways, among others.
With consumer demand for mindful choices of food and beverage growing, Lyre’s was created to replicate the world’s most popular spirits in a non-alcoholic format, each as close to the original premium volume spirit as possible.
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 in Australia, US, Asia and Oceania, with UK and Europe launches imminent.