Lyre’s, the world’s leading independent non-alcoholic spirits brand, has completed a seed-plus funding round valuing the business at over £100 million, crowning it as the most valuable independent brand to date in the rapidly expanding no/low alcohol spirits category. This milestone has been achieved in under 24 months of trading, during which time Lyre’s has become the most widely distributed non-alcoholic spirits brand – now available in 43 countries – generating double-digit monthly revenue growth with annualised sales on course to exceed £35 million by the fourth quarter of this year.
Lead institutional investors introduced in this funding tranche – Lyre’s third round since inception – include US-based Morgan Creek Capital Management (early-backers of Alibaba, SpaceX, Lyft, Drizly NinjaVan and Allbirds) and Bitburger Ventures (the investment arm of the German brewing dynasty). These enterprises join existing investors, DLF Venture, VRD Ventures, SFO GmbH, Maropost Ventures and Döhler Ventures, all of which have followed on or increased positions in this round.
Funds raised will be used to: accelerate geographic expansion, with Lyre’s targeting sales in 60 countries by year-end; build on existing product research and development capabilities; increase product inventory as the global hospitality sector reopens; and further invest in the company’s UK, European and American manufacturing capabilities.
With consumer demand for mindful choices of food and beverage growing, Lyre’s was created to replicate the world’s most popular spirits in a non-alcoholic format, each as close to the original premium volume spirit as possible. A frictionless swap of a Lyre’s non-alcoholic spirit for the original alcoholic ingredient delivers the benefits of a premium sophisticated non-alcohol drink without any compromise. The expanding Lyre’s portfolio of 13 premium non-alcoholic spirits is capable of crafting 90% of the world’s best-selling cocktails. Lyre’s is also capitalising on the demand for sophisticated, on-the-go adult beverage options, having recently launched three ready to drink (RTD) variants of its product into the US, Asia and Oceania, with UK and Europe launches imminent.
The Lyre’s proprietary production method ensures the brand can continue to scale and roll out at pace. The business is currently entering an average of one new market per week and has already launched in difficult-to-enter markets such as Mainland China, gaining a strong first-mover advantage. As a digital-first brand, direct-to-consumer sales currently account for a significant 48% of revenue, while Lyre’s has also gained quality global partnerships that include WeightWatchers, listings with more than 20 major retailers, availability in in-flight lounges such as British Airways and United Airways, and permanent menu placements in an increasing number of the world’s Top 50 Bars, Restaurants and Hotels. These venues include the iconic Atlas, Manhattan, and Tippling Club bars in Singapore, last year’s worldwide bar of the year, Maybe Sammy, in Sydney, and respected culinary groups such as Nobu, Australia’s Rockpool Group, and even Vegas Casino Hotels such as The Sahara, The Cosmopolitan and Virgin.
“It’s truly exciting to travel through the £100 million valuation milestone within two years of trading,” said Mark Livings, Lyre’s co-founder and CEO. “The demand for non-alcoholic drinks and growth in mindful drinking is exploding. The no and low alcohol category already accounts for 3% of the total beverage market and is projected to grow by 31% by 2024. Alcohol consumption is reducing, with millennials drinking 20% less than their parents at the same age, and consumers are making healthier choices across a number of indulgent food and beverage categories without having to compromise on taste and social experiences. Lyre’s has built a brand in the most challenging of market conditions and as we position the business at the threshold of the hospitality resurgence, our goal is to be ubiquitous in all major markets so that anyone, anywhere can say: ‘make my drink a Lyre’s’”
Mark Yusko, CEO and Founder of Morgan Creek Capital, commented: “Our Consumer Opportunities Fund is excited to be a lead investor in this round of financing for Lyre’s. We targeted a non-alcoholic spirits company as one of our core investments and Lyre’s met our criteria of a world-class management team with great tasting products and a strong brand in high growth mode. With a large product range of non-alcoholic spirits and RTD beverages, we believe Lyre’s is well-positioned to capture the tremendous growth in global demand in this category.”