Sambazon, a San Clemente, Calif.-based provider of acai beverages, has raised an undisclosed amount of VC funding led by Belgium-based Verlinvest.
Sambazon (www.sambazon.com), the pioneer and global market leader in acai food and beverages, announced today the initial closing of its largest round of funding to date from lead investor, Verlinvest.
Verlinvest, a Belgian based private equity group, pledges to support the Company’s exponential growth within the organic food and beverage categories. Sambazon will use the investment to expand distribution and marketing efforts for its premium acai product lines.
“We are very excited about this new partnership. Verlinvest’s knowledge and relationships in the beverage industry are unparalleled and will add tremendous value to growing our distribution,” said Ryan Black, CEO, Sambazon. “Verlinvest’s international experience in building iconic brands also makes them the ideal strategic partner as we execute our growth plan.”
Since its founding in 2000, Sambazon has continued to raise the industry standard with quality organic acai products. They created the first vertically integrated supply chain for the acai berry and are internationally recognized as a “green” business leader. Guided by the Triple Bottom Line principles, which incorporate environmental, social and economic success, Sambazon pioneered a sustainable business model in the Amazon Rainforest and created worldwide awareness of acai. Today, Sambazon products are found in over ten thousand supermarkets, health food stores and juice bars.
“Sambazon is the hottest up and coming brand in the beverage space, with dynamic products and a supply chain to reach significant scale,” says Frederic de Mevius, Verlinvest’s Managing Director. “They have outperformed competitors in the beverage, frozen and supplement categories and as consumers continue to look for organic, functional and nutrition rich food and beverages, Sambazon’s future is prospected to be very bright.”
Partnership Capital Growth, a San Francisco based investment bank, is advising the transaction exclusively. Verlinvest is the lead investor with participation by Bradmer Foods and RSF Social Finance.
Sambazon is the global leader in acai – a deliciously nutritious purple berry from the Amazon Rainforest. Sambazon’s product portfolio of Organic acai beverages, frozen products and supplements are available at thousands of retailers including Whole Foods Market, Jamba Juice, Kroger and Publix. In 2006, Condoleezza Rice named Sambazon winner of the “ACE Award for Corporate Excellence” for helping to create worldwide awareness and demand for the acai fruit while supporting local indigenous communities in Brazil through a unique market driven conservation business model. www.sambazon.com
About Verlinvest S.A.
Verlinvest is a Belgian private equity firm specializing in diversifying family holdings through equity and debt instruments. The firm typically invests in entrepreneurs, family businesses, multinationals in the branded consumer goods and services industry with a focus on alcoholic (spirits), healthy non-alcoholic beverages, fashion, cosmetics and well being services. www.verlinvest.be