Pernod Ricard invests in the $23M round of Liquid Death (water in a can)

Key facts:

  • Liquid Death, the famous water-in-a-can startup, just raised an additional $34M (after $9M earlier this year)
  • Pernod Ricard’s venture arm (Convivialité ventures) is part of the round
  • Started as a joke and rebranded as a somewhat innovative packaging, the company sells Austrian Alps water in cans made of at least 70% aluminum.

Why it matters – DigitalFoodLab’s opinion:

We already talked about Liquid Death in March as a good example of an interesting and funny marketing example. The startup seems to follow all the rules of the “new DNVB (Digital Native Vertical Brand) playbook”:

  • strong e-commerce presence
  • well-designed communication
  • strong community (notably based on heavy metal fans)
  • growing retail presence to broaden its customer base and repeat

However, we can say that we are more than skeptics about this round. The amount of money raised seems a bit extreme for a young venture selling a staple with a premium  ($16 for 12 cans of… water, which is twice the cost of Evian, similarly Alps water). Furthermore, while death-to-plastic marketing is well-thought in our days of growing climate change awareness, importing water from the Alps to the US and using aluminum cans is a bit odd.

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