XOXO range

Xoxo launched in May 2023 and has secured distribution in more than 4,500 shops across Europe

The fmcg investment firm set up by the founders of Innocent have made their first venture into soft drinks, backing gut health soda startup Xoxo.

JamJar took part in the £4m round to help the soft drinks challenger to continue scaling up and roll out its range of prebiotic sodas across more UK supermarkets.

Xoxo launched in May 2023 and has secured distribution in more than 4,500 shops in Germany, the Netherlands and Austria, with a listing in Whole Foods Market in the UK and with wholesale giant Brakes.

It plans to debut with major UK retailers in the autumn this year.

The deal marks the first soft drinks investment by JamJar since Richard Reed, Jon Wright and Adam Balon set up the fund in 2012 after selling Innocent to Coca-Cola.

“We’ve looked at nearly every soft drinks brand since we sold Innocent 13 years ago and Xoxo is the first we have invested in due to their incredible growth and potential to disrupt this giant category,” Reed said.

Xoxo CEO and co-founder Rory Paterson added: “The significant demand for Xoxo has affirmed our belief the market was ready for a new drink that resonates with a type of new consumer.

“We are excited that our brand is already disrupting the legacy soft drinks market, which has been complacent for too long. The reception both in the UK and across wider Europe has far exceeded our wildest expectations, and the latest fundraise will help us further scale this vision.

“Our commitment to quality and innovation has resonated with investors, not least from JamJar, and makes the team very excited for what’s to come next for Xoxo soda.”

JamJar recently backed fresh dogfood startup Marleybones and non-HFSS doughnut brand Urban Legend. Its extensive past portfolio has included Deliveroo, Tails.com, Oatly, Tony’s Chocolonely and Graze.

Döhler Ventures, GGF Ventures, G Fund, the Revery Group and several fmcg founders also took part in the £4m round for Xoxo.

Xoxo, which is on track to sell 250,000 cans this month, raised £1.5m last summer to support its rapid growth.

Earlier this year, the brand also doubled the size of its range to six flavours, with each drink plant-based, low in sugar and calories and containing 6g of prebiotic fibre.

Xoxo is the latest gut health soft drinks brand to score investment as consumer demand for the category grows, with BrewDog founder and former CEO James Watt backing a seed round for Living Things, while kombucha brands Momo and LA Brewery have both raised seven-figure sums this year.