simplee aloe

Drinks startup Simplee Aloe has secured almost £1m in venture capital funding as investor demand for ‘clean living’ brands grows.

Founded in 2014 by former City bankers Alex Lai and Raymond Pang in 2014, the business will use the £950,000 from DSG Consumer Partners and a group of high net-worth individuals to launch new products, increase brand awareness and promote the aloe vera juice category.

The three-strong Simplee Aloe range is stocked in 1,500 stores across the UK, with listings in Co-op, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Ocado and Waitrose, as well as health food retailers Planet Organic and Whole Foods Market.

The brand and is also sold in 10 export markets, with listings at Albert Heijn and Ahold Delhaize.

It has also recently branched out into the health market with the launch of two aloe vera juice health supplements.

“We are now at the stage where we have spent two years developing and showcasing our brand concept and generating awareness for the aloe vera category in the UK,” said co-founder Alex Lai.

“The aloe vera juice category alone is now worth in excess of £8.5m and is one of the most fertile categories for investment outside of technology. We are delighted to be at the forefront of this trend.

“With this investment, we will have the ability to reach more consumers in the UK to tell them about the benefits of drinking aloe vera.”

The latest funding round follows a £230,000 injection from Asian venture capital firm Green Monday Ventures in February 2015.

Simplee Aloe generated revenues of £1.5m in the year to July 2016, with surge in retail sales this year to about £4m.

Demand for ‘clean drinking’ has exploded in the past two years as consumers steer clear of fizzy drinks, with the coconut water category alone now worth £62.8m [IRI 52 w/e 31 December 2016] and a growth in niche categories such as aloe vera and birch water.