Sydney-based non-alcoholic spirits company, Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Spirit Co. has $16 million in seed round funding 18 months after launching as the startup’s growth continues to grow exponentially worldwide.
The backers include VRD Investment, Doehler Ventures, DLF Venture and Maropost Ventures, with family funds in Europe, America and Australia tipping in.
Lyre’s CEO and co-founder Mark Livings said that after launching in April 2019, the seed round was structured to be completed in three tranches over the initial 12-month trading period, a necessary process to ensure the business was sufficiently capitalised for “planned, lightning-fast growth”.
With around 20% of the population not drinking alcohol, consumption trends heading down among existing drinkers, and an emerging, liberated middle class in Muslim countries looking to have fun and socialise while eschewing alcohol, marketer Mark Livings began developing the Lyre’s brand with co-founder Carl Hartmann four years ago.
Lyre’s produces 13 non-alcoholic spirits with the distinct flavours of gin, whisky, vermouth, amaretto, absinthe and rum, as well as a non-alcoholic Negroni. They’re now planning to release new products over the next six months, including non-alcoholic ready-to-drink options.
The company posted an astonishing US$1 million in sales in the first eight weeks since its launch and the non-alcoholic category has seen triple-digit growth globally in the last 12 months, with Lyre’s as a category leader. The products are now in 30 markets globally, including the UK, US, Europe and China.
The startup has focused on the direct-to-consumer segment and was one of the flagship brands at the launch of Amazon Launchpad in Australia last year. It has seen monthly recurring revenue growth above 400% since January.
“This growth positions the Lyre’s brand for continued success and leadership with high quality non-alcoholic alternatives in one of the fastest-growth consumer brand categories in the world,” Livings said.
“Our business anticipates and matches the trends of the consumer and culture and our current product innovation is being developed to match alcohol spirit flavours and styles. Lyre’s was created to shake up the drinks category and put the choice back into the consumer’s social occasion to drink freely. The recognition from the multiple, respected, international award competitions shows we clearly have something that is resonating.”
The CEO said 2021 will take the business from startup to “a true multinational beverage company, with manufacturing in multiple, global locations”.