Credit: Agua Bonita
Despite being the fastest growing segment of American entrepreneurs, BIPOC’s women-owned startups are not receiving their fair share of investments. Inc reported that only 2.7 percent of all venture capital funds go to female CEOs, and it is even rarer for female founders to secure investments in both the initial and initial funding stages. And when the funding arrives, only 25% of what they ask for is actually allocated.
That is why Agua BonitaThe recent achievement of is so unique.
Just under a year after launching, the Afro-Latina-owned beverage company recently announced its oversubscribed $ 1 million raise with key participants including Convivialite Ventures, Cedar Capital, Supply Change Capital and Support of prominent celebrities. This places founders Erin PonTell and Kayla Castañeda in an elite group becoming only the 59th company founded by Latina to raise over $ 1 million in venture capital and Castañeda the 2nd black founder in the CPG category of food and drink. to raise over a million dollars.
“Agua Bonita redefines the beverage category with the introduction of a healthy agua fresca with no added sugar, a drink that is a staple of the Latino community and for which I have certainly retained an affinity as an adult. . With a modern, better-for-the-planet twist, they source from recycled fruit, giving us what we know in a formulation that’s better for us and dramatically reduces the environmental footprint of canned drinks. Shayna and I are excited to invest in this talented team and support the growth of their brand and business through our operational and supply chain expertise. ”Said Noramay Cadena, Managing Partner of Supply Change Capital.
The company identifies itself as a leader in the agua fresca ready-to-drink category, the first of its kind. Agua Bonita’s No Sugar Added Flat Drinks use imperfect or excess products as a natural sweetener.
“We are delighted to be able to bring a beautiful traditional part of our culture to the masses in a modern way. In a category that rarely sees large-scale innovation, we prioritize health and wellness and encourage consumer curiosity to bring people into our Bonita familia. Says co-founder Kayla Castañeda.
To date, the brand has relied solely on word of mouth and organic marketing and has made its mark in the industry by dominating several pitch contests. Agua Bonita was recently selected as BEVNET’s Best New Drink of the Year 2021 and has been recognized for its ingenuity in filling the white space in the market for a natural and healthier drink. The founders say they are excited to tap into the $ 21 billion Hispanic packaged food market and look forward to seeing the emergence of the agua fresca category.