Kitu Life Inc, the company behind the coffee brand Super Coffee, co-founded by three brothers who were on our 2019 30 Under 30 Food and Drink List, today announced that it has taken an investment. minority of the couple of superstars Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez.
JLo and ARod’s investment follows the company’s Series B that closed in July, which at the time brought its valuation to over $ 200 million. Super Coffee has expanded tour conditions for the celebrity couple and closed Lopez and Rodriguez’s investment in August. Per Super Coffee, the after-money valuation is now $ 240 million.
Jim DeCicco, the older brother and CEO of the company, says it is surreal to them that five years after starting the company, they have caught the attention of their childhood idol. (DeCicco says that growing up as Yankees fans, the brothers pretended to be Alex Rodriguez while playing baseball in their backyard).
“What’s cool about them is that Jen is a global icon, Alex is one of the best baseball players to ever play the game, and they’re at a point in their careers where they’re spending their time. huge personal mark on their reputation. their business acumen, ”says DeCicco. “We see them as business partners rather than celebrity supporters or brand advocates. They will coach us, it is a real partnership and as minority owners of our company, they have every interest in seeing it succeed.
In a press release, Rodriguez says they like winning companies with winning founders, who have energy and who are coachable.
“The brothers behind Super Coffee do the trick. They built a strong business in a short period of time and we look forward to helping the brand reach its full potential, ”says Rodriguez.
Lopez adds that when she and Alex first heard the story of Super Coffee and tasted the product, they wanted to be a part of it.
“We knew we could use our networks to grow this brand globally,” says Lopez.
The investment comes after Super Coffee signed an agreement with Anheuser-Busch InBev ‘for nationwide distribution to more than 25,000 stores in June this year. A few months earlier, in January, Alex Rodriguez became co-owner and president of Presidente Beer of the Dominican Republic (owned by Anheuser-Busch).
“At first, the connection was serendipitous, but I think that was really part of the strategic value that Alex brings to our brand,” says DeCicco. “Once he found out that we had secured an exclusive distribution deal, Alex realized he could influence the future and bottom line of our business just by picking up the phone and leveraging his relationship. from top to bottom with the leaders of Anheuser Busch. . “
Rodriguez first heard about the first meeting at the Shark Reservoir where the brothers appeared in 2018. Then the brothers did not get a deal or an offer from one of the sharks (Rodriguez was a guest judge, but was not present during the filming of this episode). At the time, the three of them asked for an investment of $ 500,000 in exchange for 4.5%. Today, at a valuation of $ 240 million, a 4.5% share would be just under $ 11 million.
With this investment, JLo and ARod join a growing list of famous investors who have acquired a stake in Super Coffee, which already includes actor Patrick Schwarzenegger, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Denver Nuggets center Mason Plumlee and the former NFL Boomer MVP. Esiason, among others.
The company was formed in 2015, when younger brother Jordan, who was a novice basketball player at the University of Philadelphia, began brewing coffee in his dorm in order to stay up late at night and manage a schedule. charge.
Once they turned it into a business, Jim quit his job as a financial analyst for The Blackstone Group, middle brother Jake stayed another year to get his undergraduate degree, and Jordan decided to ‘drop out of school to accept Peter Thiel. Camaraderie.
The New York-based company currently has 90 full-time employees and has experienced explosive revenue growth since its inception. In 2016, Super Coffee achieved revenue of $ 200,000, in 2017 it was $ 800,000, in 2018 it grew to $ 3.5 million, in 2019 it was $ 26 million, and by 2020, according to their estimates, they will achieve $ 70 million in sales.