- Sparkling and still water brand Liquid Death raised $70 million in its Series D funding round, valuing the brand at $700 million, according to a Medium post published by Science Inc. co-founder Peter Pham. The brand has raised more than $200 million to date, according to Crunchbase data.
- The funding round was led by Science, which helped in the founding of the brand and led its $75 million funding round earlier this year. Other contributors include Live Nation Entertainment, comedian Whitney Cummings and electronic DJ group Swedish House Mafia.
- As the water category evolves to meet consumers’ sustainability and health desires, Liquid Death could be the biggest beneficiary of those trends. The brand is projecting $130 million in revenue for 2022, and is on pace to double that number next year.
Dogged by sustainability concerns as consumers increasingly embrace more sustainable packaging alternatives, legacy water brands are facing competition from brands that eschew plastic and find a way to connect with a younger consumer base.
Since launching in 2019, Liquid Death’s retail presence has grown exponentially. One year ago, the brand was available in 16,000 stores, and today it can be found in 60,000, according to the Medium post — a 275% increase.
Liquid Death touts its water’s sourcing as a key element that stands out among other brands. It cans its water from the source in the Alps, according to its website. It claims that its purification process preserves 100% of the water’s natural elctrolytes, which then “murders” consumers’ thirst.
The brand has expanded its product portfolio as it has grown. Earlier this year, it debuted three flavored sparkling waters with names matching its edgy aesthetic: Mango Chainsaw, Berry It Alive and Severed Lime. These new flavors are driving growth, adding 40% in online revenue since their launch, according to the Medium post.
Liquid Death’s social media presence was also cited as a defining factor in its success. According to the Medium post, Liquid Death is the most followed beverage brand on TikTok, the number one social media platform for Gen Z, with 2.8 million followers.
The global functional water space is poised to continue dominating the beverage category in the years to come. Market research firm Technavio projects the space will have a compound annual growth rate of 7.78% until 2025. These significant growth prospects could make Liquid Death an attractive acquisition for an entity looking to capitalize on the space even further.
Liquid Death packages its water in aluminum cans instead of bottles, which it touts on its website as a more recyclable alternative. The brand claims plastic recycling is “a myth” as most — roughly 79% ends up in landfills, according to National Geographic. The company says it donates portion of profits from each can of Liquid Death supports organizations working to reduce plastic pollution.
Upstart water brands continue to tout packaging as a key differentiator from traditional offerings. Flow, an alkaline spring water brand that utilizes paper-based bottle created with Tetra Pak, has raised $45 million to date, per Crunchbase. Boxed Water Is Better, which launched in 2009 and sells water in a 92% plant-based carton, expanded its production capabilities this year as it aims to grow.