Ohza, the ready-to-drink cocktail brand best known for its convenient premade mimosas, recently closed a round of funding worth more than $4 million. This will allow the company to support its newly inked partnerships with some of the largest distributors in the country, including Southern Glazer’s and Breakthru Beverage, as well as double-down on its direct-to-consumer efforts. The round was led by CircleUp Growth Partners with participation from Branch Venture Group, Ruttenberg Gordon Investments, Riverside Ventures, individuals like Elliot Grainge, Founder of 10K Projects and existing investors such as Austin Rosen, Founder of Electric Feel Management.
Ohza, which was ranked a ‘Top four canned cocktail company‘ nationally by USA Today in 2020, has recently launched a retail-exclusive variety pack and began rolling out distribution to key states such as California, Arizona, Georgia and Florida with its new distribution agreements. It also brought on industry veterans to lead its sales team, including Matt Giese as EVP of Sales, formerly at Constellation and Diageo and Jeff Janisse as National Accounts Director, formerly at Press Hard Seltzer.
“I’m thrilled to have such a strong team of investors and employees behind Ohza as we build it into the leading canned cocktail brand in the US,” said CEO and Founder of Ohza, Ryan Ayotte. “When you factor in our unique capabilities, omni-channel presence, market positioning and portfolio strategy, it’s clear we’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of Ohza’s capabilities.”
Launched just two years ago in June 2019, the funding and distribution expansion comes on the heels of lightning-fast growth for Ohza and the greater ready-to-drink cocktail category, with the brand seeing strong sales in traditional retail as well as its direct-to-consumer platform.
“CircleUp seeks to partner with entrepreneurs building innovative, disruptive products primed for growth,” said Pat Robinson, General Partner at CircleUp Growth Partners. “Ohza uniquely delivers on what consumers are looking for in the emerging ready to drink cocktail category – better for you ingredient attributes while retaining a full flavor experience. We are excited to partner with Ryan and Ohza as they rapidly expand distribution and build a leader in the ready-to-drink cocktail category.”
While Ohza is known for making classic sparkling wine cocktails in a convenient, accessible format, the company believes it is much more than that.
“Consumers love that we’re making authentic, portable mimosas and bellinis, but the magic really lies in the fact that we’ve created a ‘better-for-you’ version that’s allowing them to trade up on flavor compared to hard seltzer, yet have a relatively similar calorie count,” said Ayotte. “This is what’s really enabling us to scale and garner such excitement in a competitive category. Ohza enables consumers to trade up on quality and flavor, without any of the tradeoffs.”
Ohza’s products have only 130-140 calories per 12-ounce serving, yet almost an entire third of each serving is real juice, which can be a higher percentage than some bottled juice products on grocery shelves. Despite all the juice, Ohza contains up to 80-percent less sugar than the homemade alternative, with no preservatives, zero added sugar and no artificial flavoring or sweeteners of any kind.