LOS ANGELES, CA – Jiant, a modern alcohol brand known for its refreshing approach to hard kombucha and recently launched hard tea, announces the closing of a $2.3M Seed Round of funding.
The round was led by Natureza Growth Partners with participation from G5 Capital. The new funding will go toward further building out national distribution, expanding Jiant’s team, launching innovative products, and amplifying marketing.
Founded in 2019 by Larry Haertel Jr. and Aaron Telch, Jiant views tea and botanicals as the perfect canvas for a new kind of adult beverage, one that doesn’t rely on conventional ingredients and has a nutritional profile more aligned with today’s consumer. Their approach to hard kombucha, and now hard tea, is traditional in process but unconventional in results, offering beverages that are expressive and interesting, while remaining accessible and surprisingly light.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Natureza and G5 on this next phase of growth,” says Larry Haertel Jr., Jiant co-founder. “Building a business is hard — having supportive and value-add investors who understand alcohol and the three-tier system, such as Natureza and G5, makes a huge difference.”
Natureza is a growth equity firm partnering with the next generation of exceptional consumer products and services, founded by Fernando Gentil Jr. and Collin Eckles. The firm cited Jiant’s proven ability to execute, best-in-category liquid, and strong brand platform as a few of the reasons they’re particularly excited about this investment.
“Jiant is only beginning to scratch the surface of the massive opportunity we collectively see in alcohol. Consumers are increasingly looking “beyond beer” and “beyond seltzer” for alternatives that are light, crisp, and sessionable; hard kombucha and hard tea are primed to be significant categories in this segment, and Jiant is quickly becoming a leading player in both,” says Fernando Gentil, Managing Partner of Natureza.
Jiant has already amassed a national network of top-tier distributors and retail partners, including Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Kroger, and Sprouts. You can find its products throughout California, Colorado, Utah, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and most recently Texas. The company will be launching several additional markets before the end of the year. To support its national expansion, Jiant has brought on a team of experienced regional sales managers, helmed by VP of Sales Sean Durham, and notably added industry veteran Andrew “Mac” MacLeod from New Belgium to lead National Accounts. “Mac brings a ton of experience, leadership, and energy to what we’re building at Jiant and we’re already feeling his impact,” says Aaron Telch, Jiant co-founder.
To date, the company has largely relied on organic marketing and has been covered by national outlets such as the New York Times, Forbes, and Wine Enthusiast. Its products have been lauded by venerable editors and panelists, and are consistently top rated in the hard kombucha category on consumer-review platform Untappd. “Word-of-mouth marketing has driven a lot of our success to date which is really a testament to the strength of the brand, liquid, and team. However, we’re excited to see what we can do with a few more arrows in our quiver,” says Haertel.
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