Hydration startup raises $8.5 million | 2021-04-26 – Food Business News

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NEW YORK — Hydrant, a hydration-focused wellness brand, raised $8.5 million in a funding round led by Rx3 Growth Partners.

Singer Lance Bass and actress Ashley Greene also participated in the round, along with National Football League players Aaron Rodgers, Josh Allen, Jonathan Stewart and Darren Sproles, sports commentator Michael Bisping, professional tennis player Sloane Stephens and celebrity trainer Ron Everline.

The round brings Hydrant’s total funding to more than $17 million. Founders John Sherwin and Jai Jung Kim launched the brand in 2018 with the goal of giving consumers an easier way to hydrate quickly. Its hydration mixes feature a blend of electrolytes, are lightly sweetened with fruit juice and contain no more than 4 grams of sugar per serving.

“It’s been a great validator to see so many talented figures and athletes find success with our brand to the point they’re now investing themselves,” Mr. Sherwin said. “While everyone could use proper hydration, no one understands the constant struggle of dehydration quite like an athlete or performer. When I first formulated Hydrant, health-minded athletes were exactly who I had in mind as a key audience.”

Hydrant’s flagship Hydrate line features a blend of sodium, potassium, magnesium and zinc. The brand also offers an Energy line featuring caffeine and L-theanine; a Sleep line featuring melatonin, magnesium, gamma-Aminobutyric acid and chamomile; and an immunity line featuring vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, ginger and zinc.

The startup, which debuted direct-to-consumer online, will use the funds from its latest round to expand its footprint in additional distribution channels.

“As we step into a post-COVID world, we’re investing much more in brick-and-mortar retail as a brand,” Mr. Kim said. “With this new round of funding, we’ll be able to adjust to new acquisition and overhead costs while funding innovation in our growing pipeline.”

The majority of the celebrities and athletes who participated in the round were sourced by Rx3 Growth Partners. The consumer-focused investment fund is backed by a network of influencers and professional athletes.

“Hydrant is exactly the kind of brand our investors look for,” said Nate Raabe, managing partner at Rx3 Growth Partners. “Working with a lot of athletes, we like to find products that solve problems they tend to face. Hydrant, with its low-sugar and science-backed formula, was an organic fit for our team.”

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