Purearth aims to raise £650k to accelerate its sales and marketing efforts and become “self-sufficient”
Organic healthy drinks business Purearth Life is looking to raise £650,000 in its latest funding round through both existing and new investors.
General Manager for the business Paul Gurnell said this latest investment effort was Purearth’s “second big external funding round” as it seeks to increase brand awareness through upweighted sales and marketing activity.
“We felt the time was right to go out and bring in some new funds to help us grow and accelerate in some key areas over the next two-and-a-half years, getting us to a place where the business becomes self-sufficient and has the profitability to fund its own initiatives,” Gurnell told NutritionInvestor.
The round will likely close at the end of the July, with Purearth looking to add up to two new external investors.
Last year, the business made two key appointments Gurnell believes to have been crucial to its success.
Head of ecommerce Karl Rutterford spent almost three years prior to joining the start-up as head of partner communications for Tesco, and an additional five years driving sales in Tesco’s dunnhumby business.
“It was really important that we had someone who understood how to behave like a retailer worked because fundamentally that’s a huge part of who we are and over half of our business is now through our direct channel,” Gurnell said.
“Also, it was critical to look at what best practice is in customer communication and Dunnhumby, through Clubcard, are one of the leading exponents of this and experts in understanding how to drive loyalty to brands,” he added.
Grant Skipper also joined the start-up as head of sales in 2020, bringing with him experience in customer development at major FMCGs brands including Carlsberg, Pernod Ricard and Bacardi.
Gurnell said: “It’s great to get that level of knowledge into the business via somebody who has the black book to talk to buyers in the Waitroses and Sainsburys of this world.”
Recent figures show 55% of Purearth’s sales are made via its direct-to-consumer (D2C) ecommerce platform, which thrived during recent Covid-19 lockdowns in the UK
The other 45% accounts for wholesale retail sales with its partners, including Ocado, WH Smith and Whole Foods.
“The retail and wholesale channels give us scale and access to a wider audience for our impulse drinks business, while on the other side, our D2C business is much more modelled around our juice cleanse products and a subscription model for drinks and shots, which is something we are really looking to push hard,” Gurnell told NutritionInvestor.
Upcoming plans for the business include expansion into the US and further hiring efforts to grow its digital content and marketing team.
“The recruitment we’re doing now is part of us accelerating our ecommerce capability, hence the digital acquisition role that you’ve seen,” Gurnell explained.
“We’ve also taken a conscious effort to look at our social media and really start to be a little bit smarter around what we do with that.”
Purearth was founded in 2012 with the aim of giving consumers access to immune-boosting beverages that supported gut-health.
The West-London-based business established the UK’s first water kefir product and has since added juices, shots and plant-based milk products to its portfolio.
Date published: 7 July 2021