Hint, maker of the market-leading still flavored water, announced the closing of its $25 million Series D financing, led by Springboard Growth Capital (SGC), an investment partnership focused on providing visionary women founders with the capital to build market-leading consumer brands. Also joining the round are Philippe Laffont, Linnea Roberts’ Gingerbread Capital and Emiliano Román’s Medina Heights Capital Partners.
Hint water is growing eight times faster than the category overall with retail sales growth exceeding 80% in the past 52 week period, making Hint America’s fastest-growing still flavored water. The new investment will be used primarily to fuel continued hyper-growth online and in retail locations across the country.
“Hint helps people fall in love with water, so they can lead healthier lives,” said Kara Goldin, founder and CEO of Hint. “Since our earliest products 15 years ago, fans of Hint have raved about how we stay true to the fruit and don’t use any sugar or sweeteners. They obsess over the fact that our watermelon water really tastes like watermelon and our blackberry water really tastes like blackberries. Now, many of our long-time fans have invested in helping us bring Hint to new consumers across this country. I’m so proud to have SGC, Philippe, Linnea and Emiliano on our dream team of investors, which includes Verlinvest, John Legend, Roc Nation and Broadway Angels, as well as many of Hint’s earliest fans, employees and bottlers.”
Hint has continued to break monthly sales records throughout the first seven months of 2020, despite the impact of COVID-19. The company’s unique omnichannel distribution strategy, which has driven compounded annual growth of 50% for the past five years, allowed Hint to adapt to rapidly changing consumer behavior while accelerating revenue growth.
Hint is available today in over 30,000 brick-and-mortar stores around the country, including premier retail chains across the grocery, mass and warehouse club channels. Online sales have more than doubled this year, and survey data shows that online shoppers buy in stores as well, demonstrating the power of allowing consumers to choose when and where they purchase their favorite products. With strong customer loyalty, recurring revenue at drinkhint.com has reached approximately 60% of sales.
Amy Wildstein, co-founder and managing partner of Springboard Growth Capital, added, "We are thrilled to build on our partnership with Kara, who is the visionary, purpose-driven founder of Hint. With Hint, we’ve found a brand that has successfully challenged the status quo to create a dynamic beverage category for the increasingly health conscious consumer. Hint’s strong platform of both online and retail distribution has proven to be a tremendous asset–especially in the current environment–and my partners and I are pleased to continue to support the brand, Kara and her team through Hint’s next phase of growth.”
Eric Melloul, managing director of Verlinvest said, “Hint is a category-defining brand that has stayed true to its mission of providing the modern consumer with a beverage option that is both remarkably refreshing and free from sweeteners. Hint’s exciting products and industry-leading omnichannel model have consistently proven to be a powerful combination, even during these challenging times. We are excited about our continued partnership with the company’s founders, SGC and Hint’s other shareholders.”