Pronghorn invests in Hella Cocktail Co
Diageo-backed incubator Pronghorn has invested in mixer producer Hella Cocktail Company, and named the brand’s co-founder its new CEO and managing director.
Hella Cocktail Co produces a line of botanical-inspired mixers, cocktail bitters and its canned non-alcoholic Bitters & Soda range.
It was founded in 2012 by Jomaree Pinkard, Tobin Ludwig and Eddie Simeon.
The company is said to be the first BIPOC-founded, owned and led American beverage brand to be available in all 50 states.
Pronghorn was launched in 2021 to help the next generation of Black entrepreneurs and founders in the spirits industry.
The Diageo-backed initiative aims to make 57 investments in Black-owned spirits brands over 10 years.
Hella Cocktail Co will receive access to Pronghorn’s ‘supercharging’ programme, which aims to help scale businesses.
Pinkard will transition from his position as chairman of Hella Cocktail Co to become Pronghorn’s new CEO and managing director.
He has spent 10 years growing the mixer company into a ‘multi-million-dollar venture’, Pronghorn said.
In his new position, Pinkard will lead Pronghorn’s initiatives that support the company’s aim of ‘bridging the representation gap in the spirits industry’.
He will oversee the company’s investments, including Den of Thieves, Ego Tequila, and Tequila with Friends.
Pronghorn co-founder Dia Simms said: “Jomaree shares the same modern, disruptive approach to building companies as we do at Pronghorn, making him the perfect fit to lead our company and ensure investments in other Black-owned spirits companies are successful.”
This is not the first time Hella Cocktail Co has received financial support. In June last year, American whiskey Uncle Nearest invested US$5 million in Hella Cocktail Co.
In August, Ten to One Rum became the first brand to be backed by Pronghorn.