Holy drinks

Holy makes powder-based drinks to be mixed with water in its branded shakers

German DTC soft drinks startup Holy has raised €10.5m (£9m) to launch its eco-friendly offering into new European markets, including the UK.

Founded in 2020, the brand sells energy drinks and iced tea in a powder form to be topped up and mixed with water by consumers at home.

It claims to reduce packaging waste by 90% compared with traditional rivals, as well as being low in sugar and calories, and containing functional ingredients, such as vitamins, nootropics, antioxidants and fibre.

Holy has already sold more than 10 million drinks online across Germany, France, Austria and Switzerland since Frederick Jost, Philipp Nass and Mathias Horsch started the company.

The Series A funding round was led by venture capital firm Left Lane Capital, with existing investors FoodLabs and Simon Capital following on and London-based consumer fund V3 Ventures (part of Verlinvest) also joining.

Holy will use the capital to expand into new European territories, launch new products and move into retail channels. It plans to launch in the UK early next year as a DTC offer before expanding into retail.

“We love soft drinks, but incumbents are outdated, shipping sugary drinks in plastic bottles around the world,” said co-CEO Jost.

“We want to do it better and solve the trade-off between great taste and good conscience.”

CMO Nass added: “With low sugar, low calories, functional ingredients like vitamins, nootropics, antioxidants and fibre, as well as natural flavours and colours, our drinks really appeal to the next generation of consumers.”

Holy currently employs 25 staff but is aiming to grow the team as it seeks to scale.

“We’re looking for new talent to fuel our product, geographic, and channel expansion as we accelerate our growth across Europe,” said co-CEO Horsch.

The new round brings the total raised by Holy to €12.3m (£10.5m).

Left Lane Capital managing partner Jason Fiedler added: “In the US, we have seen the power of mission-driven brands, such as Liquid Death, and ‘better-for-you’ products, such as Celsius, winning market share from incumbents.

“We identified similar characteristics in the Holy brand and product that we believe has tremendous mass market potential and little competition in Europe.”

Holy’s 13-strong energy range claims to offer a healthier alternative to conventional drinks in the category, with no sugar, taurine or artificial flavour. Each serving contains fewer than 20 calories, while its iced tea is a low-caffeine alternative in eight flavours, enriched with antioxidants and fibre.