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AMIthe parent company of coconut water maker Vita Coco, today announced the acquisition of Runa, an organic energy drink brand made with the guayusa leaf. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Runa, founded in by college buddies Tyler Gage and Dan MacCombie, produces a eight-SKU line of energy drinks made from organic guayusa, a naturally caffeinated plant grown in South America.
Until they were discontinued earlier this year, the Brooklyn-based company also marketed a line of ready-to-drink guayusa teas and loose leaf guayusa.
The brand has attracted the support of high-profile investors and advisors over the years, including Vita Coco co-founder and CEO Michael Kirban, who joined as an investor and member of the advisory board in In a call with BevNET this morning, Kirban explained that he saw the brand as an opportunity to disrupt the existing energy drink set.
The company has also experienced management turnover over the years; in May, CEO Alex Galindez departed the company, having taken over for Gage in April MacCombie had left two years earlier.
Kirban noted that previous investment rounds for the company were mainly directed towards building its supply chain, and characterized management turnover in recent years as a typical challenge for any startup company. He also said there are plans to revive a glass bottle format.
Under the terms of the deal, Runa will be percent owned and operated by AMI. However, Kirban said Runa will have a separate marketing team dedicated solely to the brand. The head of that department will report directly to Kirban.
He reiterated that the Ecuador-based supply chain would continue operating as it does today. The Runa Foundation, an independent non-profit organization that develops projects based around ethical business practices and sustainable agriculture, will also remain intact.
This is the start of something really big.
I think this will decrease the rumors, because it shows that this is what our focus is — building something bigger. MacCombie left the board inbut continued to hold observer rights as a co-founder of the company.
He left the board of the Runa Foundation earlier this year. The story has been updated.FINANCIAL NutriPure Beverages, Inc. announced that it has signed a Letter of Intent with XND Technologies, Inc.
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