Hangover ‘prevention’ drink Bae Juice takes $500,000 shot as it looks to US

- July 25, 2023 2 MIN READ
Bae Juice
A night out drinking with his girlfriend Sumin’s family changed Tim O’Sullivan’s life and career, turning him into an evangelist for “bae” – the Korean word for the fruit Australians know as the Nashi pear.

O’Sullivan was already a little worse for wear from the previous evening in South Korea when he was handed a “bae juice” as a hangover prevention. He became a true believer, and decided to introduce the convenience store drink to the Australian market as Bae Juice.

Pears already have a reputation for reducing the impact of hangovers. A 2015 scoping study by the CSIRO, funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia, found that drinking pear juice before you get on the turps can reduce the pain and lower blood alcohol levels.

But O’Sullivan and cofounder Liam Gostencnik have found their niche with “bae” (nashi) pears as a “superfood” drink.

After four years of bootstrapping their Melbourne startup, the pair have raised $500,000 from Honan Capital to crack the US market alongside a distribution deal with will also see the squeez4wy pack bottles in  3000-plus retails stores including Woolworths, Dan Murphys and BWS.

Bae Juice also has the backing of TakeFlight Ventures through its international brand accelerator, which helps proven Australian consumer startups launch in the US market. US-based Gold Coast Distributors will get the product on the shelves there, starting with New York this month, alongside an Amazon presence.

O’Sullivan says he is proud of their success so far, with revenue expected to double this financial year.

“We are thrilled to be launching in the US and couldn’t think of better launch partners,” he said.

“The investment from Honan Capital supports us to accelerate the next chapter in our journey, we couldn’t be more excited about what the next 12 months looks like.”

Will Honan from Honan Capital has joined the board.

“We are excited to be joining the Bae Juice team at this stage in their lifecycle. For us, the Bae Juice story represents the quintessential Australian startup – mates with a vision and the work ethic to make it a reality,” he said.

“We look forward to leveraging our networks and experience to build upon the already significant growth that Tim, Liam and Sumin have driven.”