FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — Fermented Sciences, Inc. d/b/a Flying Embers (“Flying Embers”), the maker of the leading organic hard kombucha brand, Flying Embers, announced today that it has closed a $25-million Series B round co-led by the Ecosystem Integrity Fund (“EIF”), and PowerPlant Ventures. Additional participating investors include Blueberry Ventures and Monogram Capital Partners. Flying Embers Hard Kombucha is Fermented Sciences’ first “better for you” adult beverage line.
The new funding will enable the company to accelerate growth, expand its national footprint and meet exponential demand for its hard kombucha, while innovating to create additional “better for you” alcohol beverage lines. The Flying Embers brand is positioned to disrupt the $600+ billion global beer market. It was also announced today that over 70 distributors across 30 states have signed on for distribution deals with the company, firmly establishing the brand across all channels of trade with national and regional retailers.
Founded in Ojai, California, Flying Embers is a hand-crafted, organic hard kombucha beverage brand, with an ABV ranging from 4.5 – 7.5%. Flying Embers Hard Kombucha is an organic sugar-free and gluten-free beverage, brewed in an adaptogen root blend with live probiotics. Flying Embers’ current line of flavors includes Ancient Berry, Grapefruit Thyme, Lemon Orchard, Pineapple Chili, Ginger & Oak, and Black Cherry.
Flying Embers sprung from Fermented Sciences Inc., a company founded in 2017 by beverage veteran Bill Moses. Prior to Fermented Sciences, Moses was CEO and co-founder of KeVita, the sparkling probiotic beverage which was acquired by PepsiCo in 2016. Flying Embers announced last month the appointment of industry leader and 24-year veteran of Diageo, Ty Gilmore, as president, a new role for the company.
“We are thrilled to be working closely with PowerPlant and EIF to help us grow and meet demand,” said Moses. “The capital will fuel our innovation as we continue to position Fermented Sciences as the leader in ‘better for you’ alcohol offerings.”
“EIF is excited to help Flying Embers continue to provide more consumers with healthier and more interesting options in the alcoholic beverages category,” said Devin Whatley, Managing Partner, EIF. “Fermented Sciences is an energetic startup brand that is poised to disrupt the beverage industry in a big way.”
“It takes an extraordinary team to bring health and wellness to the alcohol industry,” said Mark Rampolla, Managing Partner, PowerPlant Ventures. “Bill, Ty, and the team are the ones to make it happen and we believe they are building Flying Embers into one of the next great iconic brands.”
“Flying Embers continues to set itself apart with innovative products and flavors that bring consumers to the category,” said Nicolas McCoy, Managing Director of Whipstitch Capital. “It’s clear that Bill and team have created something special here – the success-to-date in core markets and the potential here is extremely exciting.”
“When you cut this product against the competitive set, it not only wins out on taste, but also nearly every other attribute – no sugar, low calorie, low carb,” added Michael Burgmaier, Managing Director of Whipstitch Capital. “Flying Embers has created a winning product line that aligns with the long-term trends we see in beverage.”
“Whipstitch Capital understands the intricacies of the beverage sector and has been an invaluable partner,” said Bill Moses. “The Whipstitch team played a large role with the success we had with KeVita in raising capital from great partners throughout the brand’s lifecycle and leading the ultimate sale to PepsiCo. We’ve got work to do, but with our team, product innovation, brand and our new partners, we have great confidence that Flying Embers and Whipstitch are headed towards another successful exit.”
Whipstitch Capital served as the exclusive financial advisor to Fermented Sciences in this transaction.
For more information on Flying Embers and locations where it is sold please visit FlyingEmbers and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
About Flying Embers
Flying Embers handcrafted Hard Kombucha is the first product line developed & launched by Fermented Sciences Inc. – a leading innovation lab on a mission to provide thought leadership in transforming the alcohol industry with “better for you” products. Flying Embers was founded in Ojai, California in 2017. There are 6 refreshing flavors including; berry, lemon, ginger, pineapple, cherry & grapefruit, all USDA certified organic with zero grams of sugar & carbs. Flying Embers Hard Kombucha is a low-calorie, gluten-free, vegan beverage ranging from 4.5% to 7.5% alcohol by volume (ABV). As Flying Embers expands its brand nationally, it is committed to give back 1% of revenue to firefighters and first responder charitable organizations out of respect and appreciation for their service. The company was founded by beverage entrepreneur Bill Moses, co-founder & former CEO of KeVita, which sold to PepsiCo in December of 2016.
About the Ecosystem Investment Fund
EIF is a venture capital firm that invests in early-stage companies contributing to environmental sustainability. The firm has raised over $175 M for sustainability-focused investment. Based in San Francisco and led by Managing Partners James Everett and Devin Whatley, and Partners Geoff Eisenberg and Sasha Brown, the team has been investing together for a decade, and is responsible for 5 of the most successful venture exits from sustainability- related companies. The firm just closed on its third fund, with $100 M in commitments. EIF is headquartered in San Francisco. For more information visit Ecosystem Investment Fund.
About PowerPlant Ventures
PowerPlant Ventures (PPV) is a venture capital firm specializing in funding and advancing companies delivering better-for-you food in more sustainable and ethical ways. PPV provides capital, strategic guidance and operating expertise to visionary entrepreneurs leading disruptive plant-based brands including Beyond Meat, Thrive Market, Ripple Foods, Rebbl, Oh My Green, Square Roots, Beanfields, Veggie Grill, Nutriati, Your Super and Vive Organic. PowerPlant is headquartered in Los Angeles. For more information about the fund visit Powerplant Ventures. Nothing in this communication is an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security. Although this communication may include investment related information, nothing in it is a recommendation that you purchase sell or hold any security or any other investment or that you pursue an investment style or strategy. Cedar Crest Advisors, LLC does not give any advice or make any representation through this communication as to whether any security or investment is suitable to you or will be profitable.
About Whipstitch Capital
Whipstitch Capital is the largest independent private investment bank in the U.S. soley focused on better-for-you consumer sector, specializing in sell-side, buy-side M&A and private placements. Whipstitch understands that every situation, every company and product is unique. We listen. We focus. We provide honesty and transparency. We make deals happen. We create the “whipstitch of the deal.”