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NIO Cocktails sells majority stake

Ready-to-drink brand NIO Cocktails has sold a majority stake in its business to e-commerce company The Growth Foundation (TGF).

NIO Cocktails coffee
NIO Cocktails was founded in Italy in 2017

Founded by Luca Quagliano and Alessandro Palmarin in 2017, NIO produces cocktails in ‘letterbox-friendly’ pouches.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed and the brand refused to confirm if its founders will retain a stake in the business.

The investment will enable Milan-based NIO to ‘strengthen its leading position in direct-to-consumer sales and unlock future growth’.

The brand expanded into the UK in 2019 and claims to be a leading supplier to luxury hotels, airlines, travel outlets and retailers. It had created co-branded cocktails with spirits brands Singleton, Teeling, Cointreau and Portofino Dry Gin.

Following the sale of a majority stake to TGF, the company has revealed a new ownership and operational structure.

The founders will relinquish their co-CEO roles and continue to serve as ambassadors for the brand and provide support.

In a joint statement, Quagliano and Palmarin said: “We’re so proud to have grown NIO from an idea in our house to a company with its own state-of-the-art production facility, over 50 employees and direct-to-consumer operations in the UK, Italy and Germany, and distribution in many export markets.

“After the success of launching such an innovative new product, now is the time for NIO to take the next steps in achieving its ambition of becoming the leading premium ready-to-drink cocktail brand around the world, and The Growth Foundation is the perfect partner to do this.”

TGF’s experience in recruitment and scaling e-commerce brands and operations will help to expand and support the Nio team.

Richard Chapple, co-founder of TGF, added: “Currently spirits under-index in e-commerce, and there is a huge opportunity to grow that performance.

“NIO is perfectly positioned to lead this with its innovative, sophisticated packaging overcoming the challenges of delivering heavy glass bottles that hold e-commerce back. We’re excited to be leading this next phase of NIO’s development.”

In April this year, NIO Cocktails launched four drinks inspired by Italian coffee culture.

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