Axios Pro Exclusive Content

Energy drink brand Gorgie takes on category with $6.5M pre-seed

An array of cans of Gorgie energy drink.

Photo: Courtesy of Gorgie

Gorgie, a New York City-based energy drink brand, raised a $6.5 million pre-seed round to offer consumers an all-natural alternative, its founder Michelle Cordeiro Grant tells Axios.

Why it matters: The beverage startup is tapping into the growing demand for energy drinks, but with a cleaner ingredient deck, attracting a robust round of funding straight out of the gate.

Of note: The raise comes during a time when women-founded businesses are still only snaring a small percentage of all venture backing.

The big picture: Functional beverages, energy drinks specifically, has been one of the most active segments within the beverage category, with a number of investments and acquisitions announced in recent months.

Details: Investors include Jason Cohen, Yossi Nasser, Harvey Sanders, the managing partners of GGV Capital, Andrew Abraham and Nancy Twine.

How it works: The 150mg of caffeine in Gorgie's beverage comes from green tea and is sweetened with sugar substitute stevia, the founder says.

Catch up fast: Gorgie's introduction to consumers happened very quickly Cordeiro Grant says.

  • The brand first launched on TikTok the week before Labor Day last year and was promoting itself at Expo East in September.
  • By November, Gorgie had liquid in a can and the next month was testing at Art Basel in Miami.
  • By January, the beverage was on the shelves of Whole Foods in the Northeast, she says.

Flashback: Cordeiro Grant, a former executive at Victoria's Secret, previously founded the lingerie brand Lively, which she sold for $105 million to Japanese lingerie-maker Wacoal.

  • "My first company’s thesis was maybe brands are being built the wrong way," Cordeiro Grant says.
  • "What if we actually went to social media and built communities and built them backwards? What if actually asked people what’s missing in the category? That ended up being an experiment that worked," she adds.

What's next: Gorgie is available in over 600 retail locations, such as Sprouts and Albertsons, but that will rapidly expand to thousands by the end of the summer, she says.

  • It will generate seven figures in revenue in its first year.
Go deeper