BOULDER — Sunrise Strategic Partners, a Boulder-based accelerator of emerging brands, has invested an undisclosed amount in Kill Cliff, an Atlanta-based maker of a sports drink by the same name.
Sunrise, co-founded by Steve Hughes and New York-based private-equity firm Trilantic North America in 2016, has taken a minority stake in Kill Cliff, founded by former Navy SEAL Todd Ehrlich. It is the eighth investment for Sunrise, which works with early-stage health and wellness brands.
The investment from Sunrise will allow Kill Cliff to increase distribution and support marketing efforts. The drink is promoted as an alternative to soda, sports drinks and other post-workout beverages.
“The Kill Cliff brand has a loyal and passionate following and has been fortunate to grow quickly,” said Joe Driscoll, Kill Cliff’s chief executive.
“We make low calorie, no sugar, recovery drinks that deliver on great taste. … The Sunrise team brings deep experience, and we are excited to work with them to expand our distribution and introduce more people to the Kill Cliff brand and mentality.”
Hughes, who founded Boulder Brands and is the CEO of Sunrise Strategic Partners, said Kill Cliff has demonstrated a clear brand proposition and loyal following.
“We believe the product’s clean ingredient label will appeal to a wide range of consumers, and we are excited to team up with Kill Cliff to help them expand the brand’s footprint in more gyms and grocery stores,” Hughes said.
The sports drink is sold in CrossFit and USA Weightlifting gyms, Vitamin Shoppe and GNC stores, Amazon, Whole Foods, Kroger, Hy-Vee and other retailers and on Navy and Marine Corps bases.