Kiwi drinks firm seeks investors to satisfy US market

SOS HydrationSOS Hydration, a majority Kiwi-owned US-based drinks firm, is looking for experienced local investors to come on board in a unique equity crowdfunding offer.

In a first for New Zealand’s emerging equity crowdfunding market, convertible notes are on offer, which will convert to ordinary shares in 2016.

SOS cofounder and chief marketing officer, Tom Mayo,  is now seeking capital to help drive a period of high growth.

“The US sports nutrition market, worth US$5.9 billion and forecast to grow to US$6.5 billion in 2017, is our single biggest opportunity, which is why we’ve registered and based our company there,” he says.

“With SOS Rehydrate we’re creating a new ‘healthy rehydration’ category. SOS Rehydrate features a world-class formula comparable to an intravenous drip in combating dehydration. It’s low in sugar, high in electrolytes, contains no artificial additives or preservatives and is scientifically proven to rehydrate three times faster than water.”

Last year the firm won the Best New Product award at ECRM, a major retail trade show in the US. This year, just its second full year of business, SOS has sold over 800,000 servings through its sales partners, who include several key mass market retailers in a number of US States.

The company has also been taken under the wing of Coca-Cola as part of the drinks giant’s Venture and Emerging Brands Founders Forum, an exclusive incubator for just ten entrepreneurial drinks brands from around the world.

SOS’ list of high profile ambassadors include Indycar driver Scott Dixon, newly-crowned World Sailors of the Year Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, America’s Cup skipper Sir Ben Ainslie and Olympic gold medallist and multisport legend Hamish Carter. Dixon, Burling and Tuke were early investors in the company.

SOS Rehydrate is also stocked in Sir Richard Branson’s exclusive Caribbean resorts at Necker and Moskito Islands.

Head of deal flow at Snowball Effect, Shaun Edlin, says the offer for SOS Hydration is a new and exciting innovation for equity crowdfunding in NZ.

“This is the first offer exclusively for wholesale investors to be made public on our platform, so it’s an exciting opportunity for Snowball Effect to be bringing to the market.”

The offer to Kiwi investors is part of a wider capital raising round being undertaken globally by SOS. More than US$805,000 has already been raised, and Kiwis will receive the same terms as other investors, including a member of the well-known Hennessy drinks family.

The maximum funding cap for the NZ equity crowdfunding campaign is US$1.5 million (NZ$2.3 million) and the minimum investment amount is NZ$10,000.

The current round is offered at a 20 per cent discount off the Series A valuation in 2016.

The value of the company in the current round is capped, so the value of the company fnot be greater than US$10 million.

The offer, which is hosted on Snowball Effect’s website, closes on December 18.


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