mix1® Beverage Company Raises $6 Million in First Institutional Funding from the Highland Consumer Fund

09/02/09
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John Burns and Ted Philip join the board of an emerging leader in the functional beverage and performance nutrition category.

 

Funding to Accelerate mix1’s National Growth, Brand-Building and Product Innovation in the Performance Nutrition Market

 

Boulder, CO --September 2, 2009-– mix1® Beverage Company, an emerging leader in the functional beverage and performance nutrition category, today announced it has closed its first round of institutional funding, with a $6 million investment from the Highland Consumer Fund.

 

The funding will be used to accelerate mix1’s ongoing national rollout. Funds will be used to hire additional staff, provide more marketing support in key regions, and to enable additional investments in product development and innovation.

 

mix1 is a beverage company providing high quality, all-natural products that support health, wellness and performance through functional nutrition. mix1’s current product portfolio includes an enhanced protein pre/post-workout and meal replacement shake, available in tangerine, mango, blueberry-vanilla, key lime and mix-berry; and a high-antioxidant fiber drink with the antioxidants of nine servings of fruits and vegetables, as well as eight grams of fiber, available in dark-berry and orange twist. All mix1 products are offered in 11-ounce bottles.

 

The Highland Consumer Fund specializes in growth-focused consumer products, services and retail companies with proven business models operating in attractive markets and is affiliated with Highland Capital Partners, a leading venture capital investment firm that has invested in more than 200 companies since it was founded in 1988. The Highland Consumer Fund team has invested in such companies as Boulder-based Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy Inc., the nation’s first integrative pharmacy chain, with more than 20 pharmacies in five states; lululemon athletica inc., retailers of yoga-inspired athletic wear; and Pinkberry Inc., a chain of frozen yogurt stores with more than 70 locations in California and New York.

 

“We are extremely excited about bringing on the Highland Consumer Fund as a partner. They offer a breadth of experience and resources that will help us continue to accelerate the growth of mix1 as a national, and potentially international, leader in functional nutrition,” said Bob Pinkerton, the company’s chief executive officer and chief financial officer. “mix1 has a unique product offering in a growing category; an experienced and capable management team; a track record of deploying capital effectively to grow the business; and now a world-class institutional investor.” 

 

Pinkerton said mix1’s prior funding has come exclusively from “friends and family” of the company’s management team. The funding round from the Highland Consumer Fund is the first institutional investment in mix1, founded in 2006.

 

mix1 co-founders include: beverage industry veteran Greg Stroh, a co-founder of IZZE Beverage Co.; Dr. James Rouse, ND, a naturopathic physician, yoga teacher and triathlete; and Wes Brasher, formerly beverage category manager for 7-Eleven Inc., who began his career at Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc.

 

“We’re pleased to have an opportunity to invest in the future of a company with as much growth potential as mix1,” said John Burns, General Partner of the Highland Consumer Fund. “mix1 is well-positioned to capitalize on increasing consumer interest and demand in protein beverages and all-natural healthy nutrition.”

 

Pinkerton said mix1 has grown from distribution in 400 retail stores in 2007 to approximately 4,000 by 2008, with a total of approximately 12,000 retail “doors” projected by the end of 2009. mix1 products are sold at many of the best known retailers: Kroger, GNC, Vitamin Shoppe, Whole Foods Market, King Soopers, Meijer, HEB, Stop & Shop, Fred Meyer, Ralphs, Amazon.com, Lifetime Fitness, and 24 Hour Fitness, among others.

 

“mix1’s ability to secure capital in the current market environment is a true testament to the product and the team,” said Brian Smith, a principal at Partnership Capital Growth, a San Francisco-based boutique investment bank that acted as mix1’s sole financial advisor for the deal. “We’re pleased to have the opportunity to work with the mix1 team and the Highland Consumer Fund to facilitate this partnership, which we believe will lead to great success for all parties involved.”

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