A Venture-Backed Beverage Brand
Want a chance to invest in one of the fastest-growing beverage companies in the world?
The company is called LMNT. And in just three years, annual sales are nearing fifty million dollars. Furthermore, the company has raised nearly five million dollars from prominent venture capitalists and angel investors.
LMNT is a health-focused brand, targeting the popular market for hydration. This market is valued at more than nine billion dollars, despite the fact that most products in it aren’t actually healthy.
A lot of hydration drinks are loaded with sugar, and lacking a key functional ingredient: salt. Perhaps surprisingly, salt is beneficial to the body. It’s part of what are known as electrolytes, essential minerals — sodium, calcium, and potassium — that are vital to key functions in the body. Electrolytes regulate muscle contraction and keep you hydrated. They also help balance your pH levels.
Gatorade became famous as a hydration drink that restores the body’s electrolytes. In 2021, sales surpassed $6.7 billion. Yet a single twenty-ounce bottle has thirty-four grams of sugar. That’s more sugar than a Snickers bar.
The popularity of sugar-filled hydration drinks has contributed to several big health issues. For example, one in five children under the age of 11 are obese. Diabetes rates have tripled in the U.S. over the last thirty years, and now account for $327 billion in annual healthcare costs. Seventy percent of Americans are mineral deficient.
LMNT aims to disrupt the hydration market by offering proper electrolyte replenishment without unnecessary sugars.
Notably, LMNT is more than just a beverage company. In addition to its products, it publishes in-depth content on electrolytes, and consults with sports teams, military units, and healthcare practitioners in support of nutritional interventions for optimal health.
But its primary product is an electrolyte drink mix, sold in individual packets.
There are four flavor categories:
• Fruit: Flavors like Citrus, Raspberry, and Orange are targeted at mainstream hydration.
• Fiesta: Spicy flavors like Mango Chili and Lemon Habanero can be added to a cocktail or “mocktail.”
• Chocolate: A line of chocolate-flavored salt mixes pairs with coffee (hot or iced) or hot cocoa.
• Unflavored: This version can be used as a supplement to smoothies, broths, or foods with their own flavors.
LMNT packets are sold in multi-packs direct-to-consumers through the company’s website. A thirty-pack retails for forty-five dollars, and a subscription option lowers the price a bit. The company aims to expand to big box retailers and specialty/natural grocery stores.
As mentioned, LMNT is growing fast. Sales are climbing more than 400% a year, and as of Q1 2022, the company is achieving a fifty-million-dollar revenue run-rate. It’s been a profitable operation since Year 1.
LMNT packets are used by professional athletes including NBA All-Star Bradley Beal, Hall of Fame Quarterback Brett Favre, and seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong.
Additionally, the products are recommended by health influencers such as Kirk Parsley (Navy Seal Medical Doctor), Andrew Huberman (Neuroscience Professor at Stanford University), and multiple health-focused bestselling authors.
LMNT won Best Electrolyte Powder at the Women’s Health 2021 Fitness Awards. And the company has raised nearly five million dollars to-date.
Notable investors include VCs Alive Ventures, Wild Ventures, Thrive Market Ventures, Riverside Ventures, and Incisive Ventures. And angel investors include several professional athletes, the co-founder of Honest Tea (a beverage company acquired by Coca-Cola), and celebrity nutritionists.
Moving forward, LMNT could target additional markets, including the twenty-billion-dollar market for energy drinks, the forty-six-billion-dollar market for coffee, and the $120 billion market for soda.
Josh has extensive financial experience.
He began his career as a manager with KPMG Audit, a professional services company. From there, he joined Citi, working in its investment banking division.
He then spent five years with Sandler O’Neill + Partners, an investment banking firm, as a Vice President and later a director. After that, he was a director at Piper Sandler, a financial services company.
Josh earned a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance from Bethel University and studied at Vanderbilt’s Graduate School of Management.
In addition to his role with LMNT, James is a co-founder of Proton Enterprises, a venture fund investing in health-focused consumer brands. Successful investments include companies that were acquired by Nestle, Kraft, and AmBev.
Previously, he was a partner with Empowering Neurologist, a line of digestive health supplements that reached more than $300 million in annual sales. Before that, he was a managing partner with Sitwayen Development Group, a venture development firm focused on charitable work in Haiti.
James studied at Yale and was a Division I college athlete.
In addition to his role with LMNT, Will is Head of Performance Marketing at Proton Enterprises, the investment fund co-founded by James Murphy.
Previously, Will founded Sortfoo, a mobile app that helps users curate lists of products, places, and information. Before that, he was Vice President of Marketing and Business Development with PayWithMyBank, a financial services company.
Earlier in his career, he was Chief Marketing Officer with Equinox Payments, a provider of payment terminals and support services. Before that, he co-founded MindSwarms, a market research business.
Will earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and English from Santa Clara University and an MBA from Stanford University.
A VC fund investing in early-stage technology companies.
A membership-based online company offering natural and organic food products.
A VC firm investing in consumer health and technology startups.