Leading non-alcoholic spirits brand Lyre’s raises £20m in category’s largest funding round to-date

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Lyre’s, the world’s leading non-alcoholic spirits brand, has completed a £20 million funding round, valuing the business at £270 million (post money), extending its position as the most valuable brand in the no/low alcohol category worldwide. Founded in 2019, this valuation has been achieved in less than two and a half years of trading, during which time Lyre’s has entered more than 60 countries and secured partnerships with the world’s leading spirits distributors and listings with over 50 major retailers. The business is on course to be annualising £50 million in revenues by December this year.

Lyre’s was created to replicate the world’s most popular spirits in a non-alcoholic format, each as close to the original premium volume spirit as possible. The Lyre’s expanding portfolio of 14 premium non-alcoholic spirits is capable of crafting 90% of the world’s best-selling cocktails and is complemented by a recently launched range of ready-to-drink pre-mixed non-alcoholic cocktails. 

“Millennials and older Gen Zs are drinking less alcohol than any generation before them, but the mindful drinking movement transcends generations and cultural borders. We’re not only growing our business – we’re expanding the whole category, entering territories like the Middle East and Far East virtually uncontested,” said Mark Livings, Lyre’s co-founder and CEO. “The pace of growth we’re seeing is exceptional. We sold our first bottle in 2019 and today we’re selling one at least every 30 seconds. On our current trajectory, Lyre’s is set to become the fastest independent beverage brand to reach Unicorn status,” added Livings.

In the last year, global off-premise sales reached $3.1 billion across low-alcoholic and non-alcoholic categories (up from $291 million the previous year)*. In the UK alone, the no/low alcohol category is expected to reach a value of over $1.5 billion in 2025**. Lyre’s continues to outpace the growth of the category, driven by low capex requirements, first mover advantage in multiple international markets, and highly-scalable production methods across the range.

The funding round was led by new investor, D Squared Capital, alongside existing investor, Morgan Creek Capital Management (early backers of Alibaba, SpaceX, Lyft, Drizly NinjaVan and Allbirds). Other early backers increasing positions included DLF VentureVRD Ventures, and Maropost Ventures.

Funds will be used predominantly for marketing, having established a global footprint of 60 countries, as well as to significantly grow headcount, creating more than 50 new jobs in sales and marketing, production, logistics, finance and e-commerce. Lyre’s will also continue to co-invest with several manufacturing partners to expand production capacity to meet demand across its facilities in the UK, Germany, Australia, and the US. Lyre’s has also established an R&D division in partnership with beverage technology giant Döhler, developing a class-leading new product pipeline and ensuring continued innovation in the sector so that products remain best in class. 

Daniel Grossman, managing director of D Squared Capital, commented: “The no/low alcohol beverage market is one of the fastest growing markets in F&B and is showing similar characteristics to plant-based milks, meats and other mindful consumer categories. Lyre’s leading product, brand and range of award-winning SKUs have proven that they are the industry leader and we are excited to be backing the best in class company.”

Mark Yusko, CEO and founder of Morgan Creek Capital Management, commented: “We are pleased to be a co-lead investor in this financing round for Lyre’s. We saw early on the potential of the brand and its products to capture market share in this fast-growing consumer category. With a footprint now established in 60 countries, we are excited to see the impact of increased investment in sales and marketing facilitated by this capital injection.”

This capital raise marks the culmination of a transformational year for Lyre’s. In 2021 to date, the business has launched in 20 new countries, including hard-to-enter markets such as the Middle East and China, added four new e-commerce stores and 20 major retail listings, manufactured its one millionth bottle, and developed six new product variations including Pink London Spirit and five ready-to-drink beverages.