El Rayo co-founders Jack Vereker (l) and Tom Bishop

London-based premium tequila brand El Rayo has raised £870k in new funding as it aims to double sales in 2023.

The fundraise was led by Rianta Capital, the family office of New Look founder Tom Singh, alongside notable angel investments from Logan Plant, founder of Beavertown Brewery and Hollywood actor Nick Hoult.

The new funds will be used to drive the brand’s expansion in the UK, supporting its first national grocery listing from April. It will also support its launch into its first export market of Germany.

The brand is currently listed at retailers such as John Lewis, Liberty and Daylesford, and is available at over 500 on-trade venues including Sushi Samba and Drake & Morgan.

Jack Vereker, co-founder of El Rayo, said the latest investment would “enable us to double down on the opportunity we have in the UK and help us continue on our mission of turning tequila into the first drink of the night, not the last”.

“The response to El Rayo has been amazing since we launched three-and-a-half years ago. It feels like an incredibly exciting time to be a premium tequila brand with consumers now really starting to understand there is more to tequila than simply something to slam at the end of the night.”

The Wine & Spirit Trade Association’s (WSTA) latest market report has shown that tequila’s volume sales have risen by 83% compared with pre-Covid levels, and up by 94% in value, in UK-based shops and supermarkets.