CleanCo range of low-alcohol spirits.
Jane Imrie

Low-alcohol startup toasts to international expansion with £7m investment

A startup specialising in low-alcohol spirits is set for further growth after securing multi-million pound funding.

CleanCo has secured £7m investment from existing and new investors to promote its offering within the UK market as well as expand internationally.

Founded by Made In Chelsea star and entrepreneur Spencer Matthews with support from ex-director of the Gin Guild Justin Hicklin, CleanCo launched in 2019, creating traditional distilling methods to create low-alcohol ABV spirits.

The firm has raised investment from Ursula Burns, board member of Uber and former board member of Diageo, and Stonebridge PLC, a digital-first consumer brand investment firm set up by DTC entrepreneur James Cox, who will also advise the company on its future growth plans.

The company’s latest funding success follows a £2.1m seed funding round led by investment firm Lightspeed Venture Partners in 2020 taking the total raised to £9.1m.

Funds from this new round will be used to support the brand’s international expansion, including plans to launch a number of new markets in H1 2021. In addition, the funds will also enable the firm to invest in marketing in the UK to increase brand awareness.

Justin Hicklin, chairman of CleanCo, commented: “Our concept is absolutely in line with market trends, as people look to change their drinking habits and as health conscious consumers consider their options.”

“Anyone can have a good reason to avoid or reduce their intake of alcohol. After a sub-par 2020, many of us will start 2021 with a sore head, coupled with fresh resolve and ambition to change destructive habits.

Co-founder Spencer Matthews added: “We want more drinkers to be aware that there are choices when it comes to drinking high- or low-strength alcohol.

“At CleanCo, we’re offering an easy transition with quality and credible replacements - without compromising on taste or social experience.”

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