MOVAC invests in 1Above
MOVAC, the venture capital investment firm, has taken a 13% stake in 1Above, a functional drink that helps people fight jet lag and combat many of the health risks and discomfort related to flying.
1Above raised more than $2.4 million in this latest investment round, which was led by MOVAC and included TradeMe founder Sam Morgan and existing shareholders. Investors were attracted by 1Above’s exponential quarter-on-quarter growth since being launched in December 2010 and the quality of the team.
The funds raised will be used to accelerate the company’s global expansion and build the executive team, says Founder and Chief Marketing Officer Roger Boyd. “Attracting the likes of MOVAC and Sam to our loyal shareholder base is a real endorsement of the company’s abilities to deliver and scale. We are still a small company in the scheme of things, but we have achieved great channel successes. For example in WHSmith, in Australian airports, we are the third or fourth brand in terms of sales out of more than 40 in the fridge. We also have a great repeat
purchase rate, terrific unsolicited customer endorsement and a loyal base of flight crew and well-travelled ambassadors who are helping grow the company by sharing their own positive stories. It’s a very exciting time at the moment.”
Work to build the executive team has already begun with the appointment of Tony Kerridge as Chief Executive Officer. Tony was General Manager and a shareholder of Caffe L’affare, a business he helped build from inception. It was sold for a reported sum of $25 million to Cerebos, the Australasian sauce, spice and coffee
manufacturer, owned by the Japanese beverage giant Suntory. Tony was also an early investor in Charlie’s, the juice company, which was sold to Asahi in 2011 for $129 million. He has been an investor in 1Above since launch and brings years of FMCG sales and marketing experience to the business, says Boyd. “He will be a great asset in this high growth period.”
New Zealand business investor and advisor Mark Wynne has also joined the board as Chairman. Mark was President of Kimberly Clark South Asia and has more than 25 years global leadership and brand building experience. He joins MOVAC partner Mark Vivian and investment banker and long-term 1Above investor Toby King on the board.
MOVAC was attracted to 1Above by the company’s targeted focus on a deep narrow distribution channel and 1Above’s creation of a new food and beverage business category, says MOVAC’s Mark Vivian. “Roger has demonstrated the potential of 1Above in a relatively short space of time, and this has been further evidenced by the quality of the team that he has attracted. I’m very excited by the range of
opportunities that we have in front of us.”
The investment makes 1Above the third portfolio company in MOVAC's third fund, and one of several investments MOVAC expects to name shortly as it continues to invest in Kiwi
companies which have the ability to rapidly scale revenues.
Boyd, a former Fonterra Brands general manager, says the company is now well placed to reach its ambitious growth targets. 1Above is also advertising for new staff to beef up its international sales and marketing team.