Happy Drinks Co

Skinny rebranded to Happy Drinks Co as it expanded its range of healthier drinks

Skinny Tonic owner Happy Drinks Co has smashed a £5m crowdfunding target to expand the reach of its collection of ‘healthier’ drinks.

It has so far raised almost £6m from more than 630 backers on the Seedrs platform, with the business valued at £48m.

The money will be invested in the marketing mix of the brands, creating new flavours and packaging and funding a new fully automated canning and bottling facility capable of filling more than 50,000 units an hour.

Founder Steve Wilkinson, who started Skinny in 2019 alongside business partner Ian Minton, said Happy Drinks was experiencing “hockey stick growth”.

“The investors at Seedrs are creating an army of brand ambassadors and I’m delighted to know we have the trust and support of so many people who are all genuinely excited by what we are doing,” he added.

“The future is extraordinarily exciting. After years of extensive research, we’re harnessed the power of the stevia plant with our partners at PureCircle to find our secret formulation. Enabling us to give people a natural choice that’s full of flavour and free of restrictions.”

The group recently changed its name from Skinny Drinks Group to Happy Drinks Co to signpost its ambition of eradicating the need for artificial sweeteners by creating drink with natural flavouring and no artificial sweeteners.

Flagship brand Skinny Tonic, which Wilkinson claimed was the first tonic water with no sugar or calories to launch in the UK, is stocked by the likes of Waitrose, M&S and Booths.

The group partnered with the Emoji brand in 2020 to launch a healthy kids’ drink called Emoji DRNK.

It also makes soda brand Happy Soda, clean energy drink Zero Gravity and premium craft soda Soda Punks, as well as producing own-label drinks for a major retailer.

The latest crowd round is the group’s third in the past two years, taking the total raised on Seedrs to almost £10m.

Crowdfunding round-up

  • Frozen plant-based pizza business One Planet Pizza has beaten its £200k crowd target ahead of a launch with an unnamed UK retailer. The company has currently raised £232k from 169 investors on Seedrs and continues to overfund.
  • Eco-friendly, plant-based gummy vitamins brand Vegums has reached its £230k Seedrs crowdfunding target to market the brand in US and German markets and push further overseas. It has so far raised £260k from 200 backers.
  • Ethical gin brand One Gin has beaten a £205k crowd target on the Crowdcube platform to scale up. The business combines making gin with pushing a global humanitarian cause and donates at least 10% of profits to The One Foundation, a fund for water programmes in the world’s poorest communities. One Gin makes three different gins and two G&Ts in a can, with stockists including Tesco, John Lewis and selected Fuller’s pubs.
  • Lithuanian sustainable and organic dogfood brand Rocketo has hit its £250k crowdfunding goal on Crowdcube to continue its expansion across Europe. The brand, which is available in the UK, has raised £325k so far.