FoodTech startup Cure Hydration bags $5.6M in Series A funding to fuel expansion into major retailers
Cure Hydration, a plant-based hydration brand, has secured $2.6 million in Series A funding as it embarks on a new growth phase that includes expanding its retail presence almost fourfold from two years ago.
The latest round was led by Lerer Hippeau, with participation from M3 Ventures, Litani Ventures, Andy Roddick, Nas, Matthew Dellavedova, Philip Krim, co-founder & CEO of Casper, Nick Green, CEO of Thrive Market, and others. Cure will use the new capital infusion to grow its leadership team, accelerate retail expansion, enhance customer awareness, and develop new products.
Along with the funding, Cure also announced its retail expansion to 15,000 stores nationwide, a move that cements the plant-based hydration brand’s position as a significant player in the $10 billion functional drink mix market.
Founded in 2019 by CEO Lauren Picasso and Alex Sarkissian, the New York-based Cure offers all-natural, science-supported functional beverages. The company’s debut product is a hydration blend that uses the gold standard of rehydration, which is based on the World Health Organization standard for Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS). The company claims its drink mix “rehydrates the body as effectively as an IV drip.”
Cure recently launched new electrolyte flavors earlier this year including Lemonade and Strawberry Kiwi, and introduced a new bulk jar format.
Since its inception four years ago, Cure has experienced an average growth rate of 230% annually and has expanded its retail presence by partnering with new retailers such as Sprouts, Albertsons, Kroger, Stop & Shop, Wegmans, and HEB, in addition to existing accounts including CVS and Walgreens. According to SPINS, in the past 12 weeks, Cure’s growth in the Natural channel has been 316%, compared to the overall category growth rate of 19.5%, making Cure the fastest-growing natural hydration brand.
Picasso attributes a considerable portion of the company’s growth to the increasing demand for eco-friendly products. This includes the convenience of using powder as opposed to ready-to-drink liquids, which are bulkier to transport and involve more packaging.
Cure is not only the only female-founded electrolyte brand, but it is also majority women-operated and has an all-female medical and nutritional advisory board. In recognition of its excellence, Cure has received a 2022 Fitness Award from Women’s Health magazine and has an impressive celebrity following, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Ashley Graham, Brooklyn Decker, and Miranda Kerr.
“In the past four years, Cure has seen explosive growth as consumers look for better-for-you functional beverages that really work and aren’t full of added sugar,” said Picasso. “Cure is on a mission to create healthy and effective products that provide the ultimate foundation for health and well-being.”
‘Made with clean, sustainably sourced ingredients such as organic coconut water and pink Himalayan salt, Cure provides your body with everything it needs for optimal hydration.’
Cure’s medical advisory board includes Dr Roshini Rajapaksa (Gastroenterologist), Dr Dana Cohen (General Medicine, Author of Quench), and Brooke Alpert (Nutritionist, Author of The Sugar Detox).
“Whether I was training for a triathlon or sweating it out in hot yoga, recovery was always a challenge,” said Lauren Picasso, Founder & CEO of Cure Hydration. “I decided to create a solution that could hydrate effectively but used plant-based ingredients.”
‘As a female athlete herself, it is also important to Lauren that the company’s CSR strategy focuses on empowering women: 1% of Cure’s 2020 sales are going to SheIS to promote women’s sports.’
Commenting on the funding, Valedor Partners’ Barbara Palmquist said, “We are excited to partner with Cure, an omnichannel hydration company we believe is poised for breakout growth in the $10 billion functional drink mix market. After only launching in 2019, the brand has quickly gained traction online and in over 15,000 doors. We believe Cure’s high performance is attributable to its outstanding team, especially CEO and Founder Lauren Picasso whose drive, magnetism, and experience bode well for Cure’s future success. We can’t wait to see what Cure accomplishes in the coming years.”
Cure is steadily expanding its leadership team by recruiting seasoned professionals from the industry. The company recently welcomed Laura Kendrick, who previously worked at Highline Wellness and SmartyPants, as their Chief Marketing Officer. Additionally, Stacey Gillespie, previously associated with Ora Organic and Gaia Herbs, has joined Cure as their VP of Innovation.