Nexba raises $6M in Series A round

Nexba, Australia’s naturally sugar-free beverage brand, has completed its Series A Round through crowdfunding platform VentureCrowd, breaking records for Australia’s largest non-tech crowdfunding raise to date.

The crowd-funding element comprises almost $1.5M of the total $6M, with the highest amounts being $100K and the lowest being $5K.

Steve Maarbani, co-founder of VentureCrowd, said: “We were very impressed with the level of interest and calibre of investors, which ranged from business leaders to ordinary everyday investors. It shows the resonance Nexba has with the market and reinforces growing consumer demand for better-for-you food and beverage products. We believe that consumer trend will continue and that Nexba will continue to growth it.”

The remaining $4.5M in funds came from a variety of private investors which include: former David Jones CEO and Managing Director Paul Zahra, former CBA Executive and now CEO of Porter Davis, Adrian Hondros, Farage founder, Joe Farage, and Budburst Capital Director John Bacon.

The raise comes after a year of impressive growth for the beverage innovators, with FY18 gross revenues up 148 per cent after launching new functional product ranges such as kombucha and probiotic water. The number of Australian households buying Nexba products has also catapulted to 460,000, a 202 per cent increase year on year and Nexba is currently on track to achieve another year of doubling gross revenues in FY19.

Troy Douglas, Nexba Co-founder and Global CEO, highlighted how the Series A funding incorporates another Australian first for himself and co-founder Drew Bilbe, who in February this year became the first Australian founders to be backed by Gaingels – the world-first global investment fund for LGBT founders.

“Our success has been achieved by staying true to our core purpose of combating the health risks caused by both sugar-laden and artificially-sweetened drinks, whilst never compromising on taste. We were the first to market here in Australia and we continue to innovate with our retail partners to maintain our status as Australia’s leading Naturally Sugar Free beverage brand” said Mr Bilbe.

The financing will also support Nexba’s global expansion plans, with a key focus in the UK. In 2018, Nexba inked a partnership with the UK’s 3rd largest retailer, Sainsbury’s, as part of its ‘Future Brands’ initiative. The partnership has seen Nexba products rolled out to large-format stores nationwide.

“Our launch into the UK late last year was a huge step forward on our mission to become the fastest growing Naturally Sugar Free brand. Nexba has  transitioned from start up to scale up, the UK is about proving global scalability of what is the future of food and beverage being great tasting no sugar and nothing artificial alternatives. We forecast continued acceleration  in the years to come as we hit other large markets such as the US” said Douglas.

For Bacon, who is fittingly an Advisory Board member and existing shareholder of both VentureCrowd and Nexba, the investment was a strategic one.

“Nexba has the winning formula, catering to the increasing consumer demand for better-for-you food and beverage products. I’m proud to support Nexba through my private equity company, Budburst Capital, because of its world-class innovations.”