Korean hangover drink Bae Juice sculls $1 million for US push

- March 12, 2024 2 MIN READ
Bae Juice cofounders Tim O'Sullivan, Sumin Do and Liam Gostencnik
Bae Juice cofounders Tim O'Sullivan, Sumin Do and Liam Gostencnik
Melbourne startup Bae Juice has raised $1 million for its ‘hangover prevention’ drink as it looks to expand in the US.

The round was backed by Perth gaming billionaire Laurence Escalante via his family fund, Lance East Office, with existing investor Honan Capital also chipping in.

Escalante became a fan of Bae Juice after tucking into the product.

“I love backing great teams, building great things and Bae Juice is that – a great product and great people with a strong future ahead,” he said.

Bae Juice cofounder Tim O’Sullivan said: “The LEO team understood the proposition from the get go and have already brought incredible strategic value as we continue to scale”.

O’Sullivan became a fan of the South Korean drink when he handed a “bae juice” as a hangover prevention after after a night out left him feeling shabby.

He launched the business in 2019 from a Melbourne storage unit in 2019, with cofounders Sumin Do and Liam Gostencnik and bootstrapped until mid-2023, when Melbourne fund Honan Capital invested $500,000 to launch in the US.

“This investment will allow us to stamp ourselves as the market leader in our category in Australia as well as building on an already exciting launch in the US,” Gostencnik said.

Bae is the Korean word for pear, and claims to reduce the symptoms of excessive alcohol consumption when taken before a night on the turps.

Will Honan said strong growth and “an incredible team” saw them reinvest.

“We are looking forward to working with our new partners in Lance East, continuing sustained growth in Australia and Bae’s expansion into the US,” he said.

US-based Gold Coast Distributors has been building the brand’s retail presence in New York City, with a target of being in more than 1000 stores in the Big Apple by the end of 2024 before expanding distribution into other states.

Bae Juice is also exploring the launch of new flavours and products.

The product, which comes in 120ml squeeze packs, is stocked Woolworths, BWS and Dan Murphys, selling more than 2.5 million units in the last five years.

O’Sullivan said his company plans to sign another major Australian retailer this year to increase the national distribution footprint to around 5000 stores.