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Plant-based beverage leader Califia Farms brings in $50M in funding

The California-based company, which plans to expand its manufacturing capacity and commercialization efforts, also brings on a group of celebrity influencers.

Califia Farms, best known for its innovative plant-based beverages marketed in distinctive curvy bottles, today announces it has closed another round of funding that brought in over $50 million. This round of investment has been led by Ambrosia Investments and existing investors Sun Pacific and Stripes Group.

“This round of funding will allow us to further pursue our vision to be the leading plant-powered food and beverage company of the future by investing in our four brand pillars of sustainability, health and wellness, plant-based innovation and engaging consumer experiences,” said beverage visionary Greg Steltenpohl, CEO and co-founder of Califia Farms. “Serge Schoen and his partners at Ambrosia complement our current investors with global experience in optimizing plant-based supply chains and supporting the continued rapid growth of entrepreneurial companies like Califia Farms.”

Califia will be expanding its company-owned manufacturing capacity in Bakersfield, California, and further develop its go-to-market capabilities for commercializing recent innovations in plant-based milks, non-dairy creamers and cold brew coffees, as well as promoting the launch of its new breakthrough line of probiotic dairy-free yogurt drinks.

“Califia Farms has achieved remarkable growth in its six years of operation through a disruptive suite of plant-based products,” said Serge Schoen, partner and chairman of Ambrosia Investments, and previously chairman and CEO of Louis Dreyfus Company, one of the world’s largest agriculture supply chain solution providers. “We’re excited about our investment in Califia and are committed to the long-term growth of the company as the brand continues to innovate and introduce products that truly live up to their motto of ‘Something Different, Something Better’.”

The company has also brought on board a small group comprising actors, musicians, professional athletes and supermodel entrepreneurs who support the values of a plant-based lifestyle, including Jared Leto, Leonardo DiCaprio, Karlie Kloss, Shaun White, Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley, as well as entertainment advisory groups PLUS Capital and Big Loud Capital. As part of Califia’s partnership with its shareholders, the brand is proud to announce the sponsorship of Jared Leto’s 30 Seconds to Mars’ Monolith Tour this summer. Prior to the band taking stage, show-goers will experience a 90 second video introducing Califia’s namesake, Queen Califia, and her inspirational embodiment of the spirit of California.

Sandeep Patel takes the reins as chief financial officer of Califia Farms

To support Califia’s strategic long-term growth, Sandeep Patel has been appointed as chief financial officer.

Patel joins Califia after 20 years in investment banking, where as a managing director at both Barclays and Goldman Sachs, he advised a broad range of corporate clients on important strategic and financing matters across the food and beverage, agriculture and technology landscapes globally. He earned degrees in biology, economics and law from Williams College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Yale Law School, respectively.

“Sandeep has a differentiated understanding of the food and beverage industry from soil to shelf as well as deep expertise helping high-growth companies like Califia develop strong financial frameworks and access to capital compatible with a long-term vision. I am thrilled to have Sandeep as a full-time partner,” said Steltenpohl.

As chief financial officer, Patel will lead the company’s finance organization as well as certain operational, legal, technological and strategic areas.

“Califia is at the intersection of some of the most powerful trends to shape the food system in the last 50 years. With its strong lifestyle brand, track record of innovation and cross-category leadership, Califia is uniquely positioned to capitalize on these trends,” adds Patel. “I am a big believer in Califia’s mission and am honored to have the opportunity to join Greg and team to help build upon the great success achieved thus far.”

Source: Califia Farms

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