Boulder kombucha startup Rowdy Mermaid raises $3.5M

Boulder-based Rowdy Mermaid Kombucha raised $3.5 million in May. (Photos courtesy Rowdy Mermaid)

Rowdy Mermaid, a kombucha startup in Boulder, said last week that it has raised $3.5 million to close out a $7 million Series A investment round.

The investment again was led by KarpReilly, a Connecticut-based private investment firm with a portfolio of food and beverage brands, such as Spindrift, KeVita and Iconic Protein, according to a press release.

The kombucha company, which launched in 2013, said that it will use funds to continue national retail expansion, introduce an e-commerce platform, and invest in sales and marketing as well as research and development of additional product lines.

According to the press release, the fermented tea business projects triple-digit sales growth in 2020, as the beverage manufacturer expands into new markets.

“Our expansion is happening at a national level, and we’re excited to announce a partnership with a new natural retailer next week who operates stores across the country,” said Melissa Hauser, vice president of sales and marketing, in a statement to BusinessDen. “We’ll also continue our push into new markets like the Pacific Northwest, where we recently launched with Market of Choice; the mid-Atlantic and Northeast where we recently launched with The Fresh Market; and the Midwest where we recently began working with Plum Market.”

Rowdy Mermaid offers seven flavors of kombucha, using ingredients such as Tasmanian pepperberry, chrysanthemums and the Chaga mushroom. The company’s newest flavor, “Watermelon Bloom,” will be available on the shelves of supermarkets, including Sprouts Farmers Market and Natural Grocers, come June.

Jamba Dunn started the business with his daughter after losing a job through a corporate downsizing. The tea is available in stores in 43 states, according to the company’s website.

In 2017, the kombucha startup raised $350,000, and in 2018 another $3.15 million, according to SEC filings.

Rowdy Mermaid offers seven flavors of kombucha.

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