SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Hint, Inc., maker of the market-leading still flavored water, announced the closing of its $25 million Series D financing, led by Springboard Growth Capital (SGC), an investment partnership focused on providing visionary women founders with the capital to build market-leading consumer brands. Also joining the round are Philippe Laffont, Linnea Roberts’ Gingerbread Capital and Emiliano Román’s Medina Heights Capital Partners.
Hint® water is growing eight times faster than the category overall with retail sales growth exceeding 80% in the past 52 week period, making Hint America’s fastest-growing still flavored water1. The new investment will be used primarily to fuel continued hyper-growth online and in retail locations across the country.
“Hint helps people fall in love with water, so they can lead healthier lives,” said Kara Goldin, founder/CEO of Hint. “Since our earliest products 15 years ago, fans of Hint have raved about how we stay true to the fruit and don’t use any sugar or sweeteners. They obsess over the fact that our watermelon water really tastes like watermelon and our blackberry water really tastes like blackberries. Now, many of our long-time fans have invested in helping us bring Hint to new consumers across this country. I’m so proud to have SGC, Philippe, Linnea and Emiliano on our dream team of investors, which includes Verlinvest, John Legend, Roc Nation, and Broadway Angels, as well as many of Hint’s earliest fans, employees, and bottlers.”
Hint has continued to break monthly sales records throughout the first seven months of 2020, despite the impact of COVID-19. The Company’s unique omnichannel distribution strategy, which has driven compounded annual growth of 50% for the past five years, allowed Hint to adapt to rapidly changing consumer behavior while accelerating revenue growth. Hint is available today in over 30,000 brick-and-mortar stores around the country, including premier retail chains across the grocery, mass, and warehouse club channels. Online sales have more than doubled this year, and survey data shows that online shoppers buy in stores as well, demonstrating the power of allowing consumers to choose when and where they purchase their favorite products. With strong customer loyalty, recurring revenue at drinkhint.com has reached approximately 60% of sales.
Amy Wildstein, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Springboard Growth Capital, added, "We are thrilled to build on our partnership with Kara, who is the visionary, purpose-driven founder of Hint. With Hint, we’ve found a brand that has successfully challenged the status quo to create a dynamic beverage category for the increasingly health conscious consumer. Hint’s strong platform of both online and retail distribution has proven to be a tremendous asset – especially in the current environment – and my partners and I are pleased to continue to support the brand, Kara, and her team through Hint’s next phase of growth.”
Eric Melloul, Managing Director of Verlinvest said, “Hint is a category-defining brand that has stayed true to its mission of providing the modern consumer with a beverage option that is both remarkably refreshing and free from sweeteners. Hint’s exciting products and industry-leading omnichannel model have consistently proven to be a powerful combination, even during these challenging times. We are excited about our continued partnership with the company’s founders, SGC, and Hint’s other shareholders.”
Hint, Inc. started with a simple but challenging objective: to make water that tastes great without adding any sugar or diet sweeteners. Hint’s uniquely delicious fruit-flavored water is the fastest-growing still flavored water in America and is available in still, sparkling and caffeinated varieties. The Company’s products are produced in multiple locations across the United States and are sold at drinkhint.com and at major grocery, mass, warehouse club, and online retailers nationwide. Hint has been called the “unofficial drink of Silicon Valley,” served at Google, Facebook, Uber, and Spotify.
CEO Kara Goldin’s journey in founding Hint, and the obstacles she overcame in building the business, are chronicled in her new book, Undaunted. Overcoming Doubts and Doubters, which will be released by Harper Leadership in October 2020.
About Springboard Growth Capital:
Springboard Growth Capital (SGC) invests in high-growth companies founded by dynamic female entrepreneurs. With a focus on helping visionary entrepreneurs create market leaders, SGC employs a scalable independent sponsor model that is unique among women-focused funds in its capacity and flexibility to make growth equity investments of meaningful size. Backed by leading financial institutions, family offices and notable entrepreneurs, SGC invests in digitally native brands and consumer-facing technology companies that are transforming categories and revolutionizing industries. The firm’s current portfolio includes investments in Hint, The RealReal, ClassPass, Aquis, and Fleur du Mal.
Verlinvest is a privately-owned family investment company based in Brussels with offices in New York, London, and Singapore. Verlinvest’s long-term, operational mindset is uniquely focused on building and accelerating brands and helping entrepreneurs convert their vision into global success stories. Since its formation in 1995, Verlinvest has partnered with leading, mission-oriented consumer brands and their entrepreneurial management teams across the United States, Europe, and Asia to drive growth across new products, channels, and markets. The firm’s portfolio of active and former consumer brands includes Oatly, Vita Coco, Tony’s Chocolonely, Chewy.com, Sir Kensington’s, and Glaceau Vitaminwater.
1 “Fastest-growing” per SPINs data for the 52-week period ending July 12, 2020, for the top 10 volume brands within the Still Flavored Water subcategory (total US MULO channels); “Premium still water segment” includes SPINs data for the 52-week period ending July 12, 2020, Still Flavored Water and Enhanced Water subcategories (total US MULO channels).