Diageo has today announced the acquisition of a significant majority shareholding in Seedlip, the world's first distilled non-alcoholic spirits brand.
Seedlip was launched by Ben Branson in 2015 to solve the dilemma of 'what to drink when you're not drinking'. He set out to change the way the world drinks and continue his family's 320-year-old farming legacy.
Branson will remain actively involved as a shareholder and director and will work with the Seedlip team and Diageo to continue to support Seedlip's future success.
In June 2016, Seedlip announced a minority investment from the Diageo-backed accelerator programme Distill Ventures. Independently run, Distill Ventures receives funding from Diageo to support entrepreneurs as they launch and grow innovative drinks brands. Seedlip is the first non-alcoholic brand acquired by Diageo through Distill Ventures.
In the last three and a half years, Seedlip has grown from Ben's kitchen to a presence in more than 25 countries. Seedlip's three variants (Spice 94, Garden 108 and Grove 42) are stocked in over 7,500 of the world's best bars, restaurants, hotels and retailers, including the majority of the world's 50 best cocktail bars and over 300 Michelin Star restaurants.
Branson said, '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.'
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.'
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.'