Lewis Hamilton is investing in a green-drink business as the British racing driver and others capitalize on demand for health and wellness products.
Athletic Greens, which makes a nutritional powder, is taking on external investors for the first time since it was founded over a decade ago. SC Holdings, a private equity firm, will lead a funding round set to be announced Wednesday that also includes celebrities across industries, including actor Hugh Jackman, model Cindy Crawford and musician Steve Aoki. Athletic Greens declined to disclose financial terms of the deal.
“We’ve never really needed to raise the capital,” Chris Ashenden, the founder of Athletic Greens, said in an interview. “It was about very strategically selecting a group of people to share our story.”
The business expects to surpass US$100 million in revenue in 2021 and will use the investment on marketing to raise the brand’s profile. Athletic Greens sells a single 75-ingredient product directly to consumers through both one-time sales and a US$77 monthly subscription service.
Health and wellness snacks and drinks have garnered interest from industry giants over the past year. In 2020, Mars Inc. bought snack-bar maker Kind North America and Unilever acquired electrolyte drink mix Liquid IV. Earlier this year, Mondelez International Inc. brought on chocolate label Hu and Nestle Health Science added Nuun hydration tablets.
Athletic Greens executives are currently in discussions with the famous investors on how each of them will help boost the brand. Additional investors include gymnast Shawn Johnson, singer Mike Posner and fitness instructor Robin Arzon.
‘Support and Invest’
Hamilton, a seven-time Formula 1 champion who signed a contract this month to stay with the Mercedes team through at least the end of 2023, follows a vegan diet and has been encouraging his fans to stop eating meat. He has gotten involved in the food-and-drink sector before, backing plant-based restaurant Neat Burger.
The bulk of his business arrangements are endorsement deals, which range from IWC watches to Puma sneakers to Bose headphones. He also has a clothing line with Tommy Hilfiger.
Hamilton said in a statement that he’s excited to “support and invest” in Athletic Greens, adding that he does include the drink in his daily routine.