Mission offers six blends from energy improving to stress reducing blends

Energy tea producer Mission has received a six-figure funding boost to fuel its expansion into the retail sector, months after completing a rebranding.

The tea company, valued at £1.1m, raised the funds by closing a £260k angel investment round earlier this month.

Mission, which currently only sells D2C, will use the cash injection to primarily target expansion into retail, focusing initially on sport stores, gyms and cafes.

Subsequent growth plans would see the brand stocked by Wholefoods and Planet Organic launching the following year on the shelves of wider retailers, with conversations already ongoing.

Mission is still looking to secure additional capital, with a rolling funding round open until December to raise up to a total of £400k.

Any additional funds will be used to grow the company’s e-commerce capabilities and fund NPD.

“We are really happy with the amount raised and it is slightly more than we even expected, but now we are also thinking about new product development,” founder and Guinness World Record winner Tom Whittle said.

“If the momentum is there right now to reach £400k by the end of the year then we might take it, if the right people come along.

“Hopefully in a year’s time we will be a much more well-known online brand and we will also start to become established in UK retail.”

After the investment, Whittle retains a majority stake in the business.

Launched as Athletic Tea Co in 2018 the brand offered a range of blends designed to enhance physical performance without the “spikes and slumps” of coffee and sugar-based energy drinks.

Despite retaining a range specifically for athletes, the business rebranded as Mission in April with the aim of “capturing a wider audience” adding focus, stress and sleep improving tea blends.

“We looked at the brand name and realised all we could ever do was tea for athletes with the name Athletic Tea and we want to be much bigger than just a tea brand, we almost see ourselves as an endurance nutrition brand,” Whittle added.

“Changing our name gives us the flexibility to move beyond tea and go into whatever we want in the future.”

The six-strong range was developed with master tea blenders, nutritionists, sport sciences and athletes.

It contains only up to 19mg of caffeine and no sugar, taking advantage of 100% natural plant-based ingredients as a source of energy.

Mission expects to achieve £100k in sales in 2019, despite being “slightly behind target” due to the focus on securing the investment, Whittle explained.