Diageo acquires majority stake in Seedlip

12 August, 2019 by Deborah Jackson

Diageo has significantly increased its stake in non-alcoholic distilled drinks brand, Seedlip, which it initially had a minority investment in through its funding program, Distill Ventures, back in 2016.

Seedlip was launched by entrepreneur Ben Branson in 2015, whose mission was to change the way the world drinks while continuing his family’s 320-year-old farming legacy.

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Over the last three years, the brand has grown significantly, with a presence in more than 25 countries, and its three variants (Spice 94, Garden 108 and Grove 42) are stocked in more than 7,500 of the world’s best bars, restaurants, hotels and retailers, including the majority of the world’s 50 best cocktail bars and more than 300 Michelin Star restaurants.

Independently run, Distill Ventures receives funding from Diageo to support entrepreneurs as they launch and grow innovative drinks brands. This new investment sees Diageo become the majority shareholder in Seedlip, which is the first non-alcoholic brand to be acquired by Diageo through Distill Ventures.

Branson said that Diageo’s investment is another step towards achieving the goals he set out to achieve with Seedlip.

“We want to change the way the world drinks and today’s news is another big step forward to achieving this. Distill Ventures’ and Diageo’s shared belief in our vision has enabled us to build a business that’s ready for scale and I’m excited to continue working with Diageo to lead this movement,” he said.

John Kennedy, President Europe, Turkey and India at Diageo said: “Seedlip is a game-changing brand in one of the most exciting categories in our industry. Ben is an outstanding entrepreneur and has created a brand that has truly raised the bar for the category. We’re thrilled to continue working with him to grow what we believe will be a global drinks giant of the future.”

And Shilen Patel, Co-Founder and Non-Alcoholic Lead of Distill Ventures said: “It has been a privilege to collaborate with an entrepreneur as inspiring as Ben in launching Seedlip and we look forward to watching Seedlip continue to thrive around the world. Supporting the vision of founders is what Distill Ventures was set up to do, and we’re proud of the impact Ben has had on our industry in such a short period of time.”