Startups Venture

Hydrant Attracts $5.7M Series A To Quench America’s Thirst

Taking in enough fluids before, during and after physical exercise can affect the way a person recovers from that activity.

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Hydration, in general, leads to better health and wellness, which is why John Sherwin and Jai Jung Kim are working to expand their line of science-backed hydration and daily wellness products.

“My background is in the sciences, and Jai’s is business,” Sherwin told Crunchbase News. “We independently discovered that the hydration problem has three main legs: hydration can help in many areas of our lives; existing products were either too sugary, ineffective or fake; and among the growth of health and wellness improvement, we could make an impact with a better-tasting product.”

Their mission to make a better-tasting product led them to form New York City-based startup, Hydrant in 2018. It also attracted attention from investor Coefficient Capital, which led the $5.7 million Series A round of funding with participation from Rx3 Ventures.

Hydrant’s total investment to date is $8.8 million, Kim said. The company previously raised a seed round of $1.7 million in November 2018, and two bridge rounds from existing investors in 2019. The new investors joined existing investors Soma Capital and Sixers Innovation Lab, as well as other funds and angels, including Jonathan Keidan (Torch Capital), Scott Norton (Sir Kensington’s), Michelle Cordeiro Grant (Lively), Jesse Merrill and Anders Eisner (Good Culture), and Michael Cline (Fandango).

Going to market

The company’s take on hydration includes providing a balanced mix of vitamins, minerals and electrolytes so that people maximize their daily water intake, which in turn promotes an overall balance of mind and body. Its Rapid Hydration product is a balance of electrolytes and sugar to enable someone to more easily absorb it, Sherwin said. He explains that Hydrant follows the World Health Organization’s recommendation for hydration—at least eight cups of water per day for adults—but has “tweaked the standard for the developed world’s everyday use case.”

Hydrant’s Rapid Hydration Mix

Hydration and caffeinated hydration products can be purchased through Hydrant’s e-commerce channel, which offers a subscription option. In addition, Hydrant’s Rapid Hydration and Rapid Hydration + Caffeine are currently sold via Amazon and Whole Foods, with additional retail partners rolling out in June and September, Kim said.

The company plans to use the new funding to build up its team, work on its go-to-market strategy, new product innovation and invest in analytics.

Hydrant employs 12 people, and the co-founders said they will add up to eight people by the end of the year in areas such as digital marketing and analytics.

In terms of growth, Kim said the company expects 300 percent growth this year with revenue in the eight-figure range. On a monthly basis, 50 percent of the purchase volume is through the subscription model, he said.

In addition to expanding into more retail locations, Sherwin said the company plans to add more flavor options, as well as build a proprietary database of literature on ingredients and their benefits.

Breaking barriers

Franklin Isacson, managing partner of Coefficient Capital, said in a written statement that Hydrant is able to cut through the competition because it is providing products that people need.

“Consumers are more wellness-focused now than ever before, but they also crave more accessible ways to obtain brands they love,” Isacson said. “The trust, love and loyalty Hydrant’s built makes them poised to continue changing people’s daily lives and habits. The fact that their omnichannel structure enables them to deliver their product in a way that’s easy to travel to, and with the customer, means that they’ve broken down all the barriers we’ve seen in the market.”

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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