Right in the midst of Mardi Gras Nexba has become the first Australian company to secure funding from Gaingels, an investment vehicle for LGBT founders.
The sugar-free beverage producer, which recently expanded into the UK, scored $150,000 from Gaingels as part of its $6 million Series A capital raise.
Derived from "gay angels" and "gaining from angels" Gaingels is an angel-investing group of members who invest funds into LGBTQ-led companies.
The group currently operates in US, Canadian and British markets, but Nexba was the first Australian company to receive funding from Gaingels.
The investment fund was formed to advocate for leadership diversity. A recent Credit Suisse study found that 37 per cent of founders were not "out" to investors and 12 per cent thought that being "out" would hurt their chances of receiving funding.
Troy Douglas (pictured right), Nexba co-founder, global CEO, and a proud gay man, says initiatives like Gaingels are inspiring LGBTQ founders to be open about who they are.
"Gaingels is an extremely positive thing for other young gay founders in Australia," says Douglas.
"I've had a fortunate and positive experience with coming out, but Gaingels showing their support is a positive message for other people who might be questioning whether you should share and be open about your sexuality in a business setting."
"I'm honoured that Nexba is Gaingels' first Aussie investment. Capital raising is an intense experience, but it has transitioned Nexba from being a start-up to a scale-up."
Since Paul Grossinger and David Beatty co-founded Gaingels in late 2014, they have invested more than $10 million directly and led $25 million in investments from other organisations. 32 companies and eight venture capital funds have received investment, including challenger bank Varo, travel tech start-up Freebird and swimwear company Andie Swim.
Nexba are now in their final stage of their Series A capital raise which they are completing via crowdfunding platform VentureCrowd.
Douglas says that tapping into crowdfunding is allowing their supporters and customers to be a part of an exciting, growing company.
"We have bootstrapped our business to date, and VentureCrowd allows people to believe in the business and the brand and opens up the ability for smaller investments from people who are the best advocates for the company," says Douglas.
Douglas and co-founder and brother-in-law Drew Bilbe (pictured left) intend to use the $6 million as working capital and expansion capital.
The company launched into the UK in November 2018, launching in a big way into 550 Sainsburys stores the 3rd largest retailer in the UK.
Gaingels co-founder Paul Grossinger says that he hopes his investment will see Nexba reach new heights.
"We're proud that Nexba is going to be out first Australian venture," says Grossinger.
"Gaingels backs companies with LGBT leadership, such as Troy and Nexba, because we believe that diverse leadership correlates with stronger culture, better opportunities for more LGBT senior leadership at the company and, ultimately, stronger performance. We look forward to helping Nexba scale toward its ultimate potential."
Business News Australia
Help us deliver quality journalism to you.
As a free and independent news site providing daily updates
during a period of unprecedented challenges for businesses everywhere
we call on your support