Citrus juice startup Naked Rivals squeezes $3 million raise

- June 21, 2024 2 MIN READ
Andrew and Kate Gordon
Naked Rivals cofounders Andrew and Kate Gordon
Fast-rising food brand Naked Rivals, which began life as a side hustle for husband-and-wife founders Andrew and Kate Gordon just 18 months ago, has raised $3 million from angel investors.

The Sydney couple developed Naked Rivals during their third pregnancy in October 2022, while still in their full-time day jobs in financial services. Trying to balance healthy eating and sustainability with a busy family life, and the hassle of squeezing lemons and limes for juice, they came up with the idea of frozen, portioned cubes.

The juice is made from ‘ugly’ citrus that wouldn’t otherwise make it to supermarket shelves for cosmetic reasons. Amazingly, it’s there now, in 1600 supermarket stores across Australia, despite having only launched Naked Rivals in February 2024.

A single ultra-high-net-worth family, which wishes to remain anonymous, has backed the Gordons.

Naked Rivals was recently named Best Beverage Product at the Naturally Good Awards and also won the Healthy Food Guide Specialist Product award.

Kate Gordon said they’ll be using the funding to scale the product range and expand both domestically and offshore

“Our success is rooted in our ability to prove and demonstrate our global scaling ambitions,” she said.

“Additionally, we’ve sharpened our value proposition, centred around the theme of  ‘convenience with a conscience’. That refers to providing products that are easy and quick to use (convenient), while also being ethically and environmentally responsible (with a conscience). This means offering products that save time for consumers but are also produced in a way that considers sustainability, health, and ethical practices.”

Andrew Gordon said they bootstrapped Naked Rivals initially, leveraging their mortgage. They are now focused on building it into a business with $120 million in annual revenue, and are already in talks with several global distributors and FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) brands.

“It took us a year to develop and launch Naked Rivals into the market. It’s been an incredibly stressful experience, but a lot of fun to work on as a couple. Every day you worry about cash flow, burn rate and second guessing yourself that you’re on the right track.  This investment allows us to focus on what’s really important – building a great brand, growing and developing innovative products.”

“This investment allows us to drive efficiencies in manufacturing, extend our product range, and developing innovative food products that all centre on our brand strategy – Convenience with a conscience.

“Establishing the brand firmly in the retail space is a critical priority, but we are also in talks to look at the food service market and exporting into other geographies.”

Their anonymous angel investor told Startup Daily they were impressed by the pitch from the Gordons via Australian Investment Network, an online portal connecting angel investors with promising brands.

“We were struck by how professional the brand looked and how compelling their proposition was around delivering high-quality products that are convenient, sustainable, and healthy,” they said.

“The uniqueness of their intellectual property, particularly the packaging, was really important to us, and we can truly see their passion and clarity of strategy to grow the brand both domestically and internationally.”

Naked Rivals frozen lemon and lime juice is available at Coles, Woolworths and IGA.

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