26 December 2018 | News | By NFS Correspondent
Iris Nova has announced a $15M round of seed funding to expand its portfolio of brands and further tech capabilities through its SMS-based distribution platform. Additionally, it will allocate a portion of funding to Iris Nova Ventures to invest in early stage beverage brands and offer value-added access to its cCommerce distribution platform.
Iris Nova, Latin for “new lens,” is a parent company to innovative beverage brands that distribute via a direct-to-consumer conversational commerce (cCommerce) model, which interacts with customers exclusively via text message.
The round includes investment from The Coca-Cola Company’s Venturing & Emerging Brands unit as well as prominent venture firms including GGV, Greycroft, CASSIUS, Imaginary Ventures, Betaworks Ventures, Lakehouse Ventures and Nebari Ventures. Notable industry leaders investing in the round include Tim Armstrong, Gary Vaynerchuk, Chris Burch, Michael Rapino, Ron Burkle, Kate Hudson, Sophia Bush, Alex Rodriguez and Scooter Braun.
Alan Patricof, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Greycroft said, "There are very few new businesses that truly have the potential to make a monumental shift in their industry — we believe Iris Nova is shaping the future of the CPG industry. The text-to-order platform that Iris Nova built is helping to shape the way consumers buy products and interact with brands.”
The first brand under the Iris Nova umbrella, DIRTY LEMON, launched in 2015 as the world’s first direct-to-consumer beverage brand selling exclusively by text message. Consumers responded -- DIRTY LEMON has sold over 2 million bottles since 2015 and processed 90% of orders entirely via text message.
Natalie Massenet, DBE, Founder, Imaginary Ventures said, "Iris Nova is challenging the traditional model of beverage distribution by directly engaging with its customers. Zak and his team have proven success building distinct first-class, next generation brands based on evolving customer preference.”
“Iris Nova is driving innovation in an industry primed for disruption — Our data-driven approach challenges the status quo, bringing emerging beverage products to market faster. Most importantly, we’re prioritizing genuine connection with our customers through a communication channel typically reserved for friends and family,” says Normandin.
Iris Nova is currently developing two additional non-alcoholic beverage concepts, launching in Q1 2019 and Q3 2019, marking four brands under the Iris Nova umbrella by the end of 2019. All new brands will employ the same SMS-based cCommerce platform utilized by DIRTY LEMON.