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Sales at the business have soared by 580% already this year as drinkers quit booze for Dry January

Low-alcohol spirits start-up CleanCo has raised £7m in new funding as the booming category continues to attract investors and consumers.

It takes the total investment secured by the company, founded by Made in Chelsea star Spencer Matthews, to £9.1m since it launched in 2019.

Existing and new investors took part in the round, including Ursula Burns, board member of Uber and former Diageo executive, and Stonebridge, a digital-first consumer brand investment firm set up by DTC entrepreneur James Cox, who will also advise the company on its future growth plans.

The cash will support the brand’s international expansion, including plans to launch in a number of markets during the first half of 2021.

CleanCo will also kick off a “significant” marketing push in the UK to increase brand awareness.

Sales at the business have soared by 580% already this year as drinkers quit booze for Dry January.

“Anyone can have a good reason to avoid or reduce their intake of alcohol,” Matthews said.

“After a sub-par 2020, many of us will start 2021 with a sore head, coupled with fresh resolve and ambition to change destructive habits.

“We want more drinkers to be aware that there are choices when it comes to drinking high- or low-strength alcohol.”

Chairman Justin Hicklin, a former director of the Gin Guild, added: “Our concept is absolutely in line with market trends, as people look to change their drinking habits and as health-conscious consumers consider their options.”

Matthews entered the market in November 2019 with CleanGin, followed by CleanRum in May 2020, both at 1.2% ABV and priced at £19 for 70 cl.

CleanCo has also recently released its first ready-to-drink, canned cocktail range, featuring 0.5% ABV twists on classics, including CleanRum & Cola and CleanGin & Tonic.

The London-headquartered company, which has listings with Sainsbury’s and Dunnes in Ireland, also plans to release a vodka later this year.

The latest £7m investment follows a £2.1m seed funding round led by investment firm Lightspeed Venture Partners in 2020.