High-growth seltzer brand Hard Fizz secures $2.5m from seasoned investors

High-growth seltzer brand Hard Fizz secures $2.5m from seasoned investors

Photo: Hard Fizz, via Facebook

Hard Fizz, a Gold Coast-based alcoholic seltzer drinks company that has secured distribution deals with Coles Liquor and Endeavour Group (ASX: EDV), has raised $2.5 million from a group of high-profile investors as it looks to scale up production and improve brand awareness.

The investment was led by Tom Paton of Conargo Capital, with billionaire gaming rich-lister Laurence Escalante also taking part via his family office, Lance East Office.

“This investment into Hard Fizz provides an opportunity for us to amplify our brand awareness through unique marketing initiatives, as well as meet the increasing customer demand for the Hard Fizz products via our new retail channels,” says Hard Fizz CEO and co-founder Wade Tiller.

“Tom Paton will bring a wealth of experience in high growth FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) businesses to the Hard Fizz board and we welcome his and Lance East’s strategic insights and contribution.”

Hard Fizz, which was founded in 2020 by Paul Fisher, Chloe Fisher, Wade Tiller and Joel Scott, has previously drawn investments from high-profile personalities in media, sports and social media, and the brand’s combined social media reach has grown to more than nine million.

Hard Fizz, which markets products such as raspberry, pineapple and orange flavoured pre-mix seltzer drinks, is described as a high-growth FMCG brand that is making waves in its category.

Earlier this year, the company secured a distribution agreement with drinks retailer and hotels operator Endeavour, taking its range into BWS and Dan Murphy’s outlets.

The company says the capital raising is aimed at helping it capitalise on market demand through these new channels while promoting the brand through initiatives such as the partnership with global golf tour LIV Golf. Hard Fizz was named as the official alcoholic soda supplier for Adelaide’s LIV Golf event held in April.

The company says Paton has a background working with influencer-led brands in the food and beverage space, having sold his co-founded brand Keep it Cleaner to Openway Food Co in 2021 and more recently launching health food brand Simply Wholesome Pantry.

Lance East has invested in several FMCG companies, including Bae Juice, alongside its core investment focus on technology and gaming companies, as well as Escalante's motorsport passions, such as the fast-growing CarExpert.

“Investing in Hard Fizz is an ideal partnership for Conargo Capital given the brands aggressive growth profile and bold marketing strategy,” says Paton.

“I see no limitations on the brands ability to grow domestically and abroad, especially with the backing of the brand’s co-founders and the exceptional management team.”

Advisory firm Ranged acted as lead advisor on the transaction, handled by its managing director (advisory) Joseph Green though the firm’s newly established corporate advisory arm.

“The strong ambassador community and notoriety of the Hard Fizz brand captured investors' attention despite the current economic climate being particularly challenging for small and medium sized brands to raise capital in,” says Green.

“Looking ahead, Ranged has a strong portfolio of disruptive FMCG brands that we anticipate will follow suit and be looking to raise capital over the next 12 months.”

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