Monday, December 11, 2023

African spirits group secures $3m investment marking its entry into the US market

Spearhead, the Black-owned, African spirits group, has raised $3 million. Funded by Pendulum, a strategic investment and advisory platform for founders and leaders of colour, the investment marks the group’s entry into the US and will further power the company’s next phase of growth.

Following a strong reception to the brand in European markets, the funding will allow Spearhead to accelerate its global reach, introduce new product lines and scale marketing efforts.

Founded in the UK and launched in March 2021 by co-founders, Chris Frederick and Damola Timeyin, Spearhead is a multi-award-winning business with a growing portfolio of premium brands that include Bayab Gin and Vusa Vodka. After noticing a lack of diverse representation in the spirits category, as well as a beverage that highlights Africa’s heritage and the quality and craft of the continent, Spearhead was born.

The essence of Spearhead’s offering is a line of premium products with true African provenance, representing the best of the continent’s craft and produce, that capture the vibrancy and creativity found in all corners of Africa. The spirits are distilled with bountiful local botanicals from across the continent, highlighting unique flavours of many of Africa’s different terrains and countries.

Chris Frederick, CEO & co-founder, said: “With a lack of Black-owned African Spirits brands exported globally, we have made it our mission to connect the world to Africa through our spirits.

“Our brands not only increase diversity and challenge cultural bias in the sector, but being produced on the African continent allows us to show the world what Africans have always known about its culturally and resource rich continent, with products that compete on the world stage in taste and quality, as well as innovation.

“Pendulum’s investment will allow us to realise this vision globally; we are beyond excited about the partnership and their belief in this mission and the power of the African continent.”

Robbie Robinson, co-founder and CEO, and Helen Wang, senior associate of Pendulum, said: “The celebration of the African diaspora is alive and well in the U.S., and we believe this authentic enthusiasm translates meaningfully to the spirits category, where community and storytelling are central to any brand.

“We couldn’t be more excited to work with Spearhead and its founders, Chris and Damola, to amplify the story of a truly differentiated platform that aims to embody and honour the diaspora. With this investment, we’re also thrilled to partner with Kenny Burns and Donae Burston, long-time industry veterans, to propel Spearhead’s growth and launch into the U.S. market.”

Spearhead will also be joined by a group of strategic partners, including Kenny Burns, lifestyle specialist and long-time spirits industry executive with prior roles at CIROC and Grey Goose and equity stakes in Uncle Nearest and most recently Spearhead, and Donae Burston, founder and CEO of La Fete du Rose, the first entirely Black-owned rosé brand from St. Tropez, France.

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