Two former Newcastle University students who developed a unique range of alcoholic tea drinks have raised £1.4m from investors to help them further expand their business.
NOVELTEA has already proved popular with customers in the UK, Germany and also China. The funding will allow founders Vincent Efferoth and Lukas Passia to target new overseas markets, expand their product range and create 20 new jobs at the company’s base in Newcastle.
The investment has come from the North East Venture Fund (NEVF), which is supported by the European Regional Development Fund and managed by Mercia; the government’s Future Fund; and the crowdfunding site CrowdCube.
Vincent and Lukas, who are both originally from Germany, came up with the idea for NOVELTEA whilst studying in Newcastle – after observing the British love of tea and alcohol. The company was launched in 2016 and was the first to cold brew and infuse tea with a matching spirit. In 2019 it received investment from Dagmar Wöhrl, a German politician, celebrity and businesswoman who stocks the drink across her chain of hotels.
All of NOVELTEA’s award-winning drinks are vegan, gluten-free, have no artificial additives and have a relatively low alcohol level at 11%.
Lukas Passia, joint Managing Director, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to secure this investment and can’t wait to start pushing further on with our ambitious plans. Our unique drinks are already receiving international acclaim and this funding will allow us to grow and reach many more customers and introduce them to NOVELTEA.”
Thea Tebble of Mercia said: “NOVELTEA is a premium beverage in a range of unique blends. Its quality product and ambitious management team is a great foundation for future growth. The business has already achieved impressive traction and Mercia’s support will help it expand into new markets.”
Womble Bond Dickinson LLP provided legal advice to the North East Venture Fund while Muckle LLP represented NOVELTEA.
NEVF can invest up to £1.0million in any one round for firms in Northumberland, Durham and Tyne & Wear, particularly those which are engaged in innovation or developing disruptive business models. Funding is available to all companies with high growth potential and also pre-start enterprises.