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Spencer Matthews gains $2m backing for low-ABV brand

Low- and no-alcohol producer The Clean Liquor Company, founded by former Made in Chelsea star Spencer Matthews, has secured US$2 million in funding to expand globally.

Spencer Matthews, formerly of Made in Chelsea and founder of The Clean Liquor Company

The firm raised the US$2 million-plus seed round funding through international investment firm Lightspeed Venture Partners. The Clean Liquor Company was chosen by Lightspeed from 50 other competitors to “become the global leader in the low- and no-alcohol category”.

Nicole Quinn, partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, said: “I look for businesses that are doing things differently, but that are not just disruptive but rather represent a generational behavioural shift. We want to build a business for the long run. And if that business is a celebrity’s business, the most important thing is true authenticity.”

The Clean Liquor Company released its first product, called Clean Gin, in November last year. Clean Gin has been bottled at 1.2% ABV and is described as an “ultra-low” alcohol replacement to gin, with only two calories per 25ml serving.

“The Clean Liquor Company was born out of a passion to make no- and low-alcohol products positive,” said Matthews. “Rather than non-alcoholic, non-flavour, non-fun, we wanted to create something that answered the demand for quality and flavour but without the negative effects of alcohol.”

Since its launch, Clean Gin has “sold out twice” and is available in 496 Sainsbury’s stores and across a number of Caprice Holdings venues.

The producer is currently focusing on global expansion with plans to launch in India, Singapore, Australia and the US.

The Clean Liquor Company will “produce a range of products targeted to different markets” with its next product, a rum, currently “receiving finishing touches”.

According to CGA figures cited by the company, on-trade sales of no- and low-alcohol have risen by 48% in the UK in the last 12 months and the sector is estimated to be worth £60m (US$78m) a year.

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