Organic-instant-tea maker Cusa Tea raises $2.5M

BOULDER — Big things are brewing for Cusa Tea Inc., the Boulder-based maker of organic instant tea, with the company completing a  $2.5 million Series A round that will help it expand its fast-growing distribution.

The round was led by Break Trail Ventures and S Cap, with participation from existing and new investors, including Organic X Labs, Smart Capital and Service Provider’s Capital. The investment brings Cusa Tea’s total funding since launch to $3.6 million and will help the company aggressively expand its distribution, sales and marketing efforts, as well as broaden and accelerate product development, the company said in a press release

Cusa on May 17 filed a Form D with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that partially captured the raise. The form indicated that the company had raised $2.1 million from 22 investors, out of a total goal of $3.9 million.

Jay Hirsch, manager of Break Trail Ventures, and James Cali, founder of S Cap, will join Cusa Tea’s board of directors.

“Break Trail Ventures is excited to collaborate with and support Cusa Tea as it continues to scale the brand and redefine what it means to be an instant beverage,” Hirsch said in a prepared statement. “It has an incredibly strong brand with a great shelf presence that is shaking up the tea space. Cusa Tea removes the sacrifices that usually come with any instant product by delivering for customers a better, more consistent and more convenient cup of tea. We are excited to see it continue to leverage its IP to deliver superior instant tea and other products to customers who shouldn’t need to choose between convenience and quality.”

Cali said, “Cusa Tea is a breakthrough in the tea category and offers the potential for disruption across the broader healthy beverage market. We have found it to be a superior cup of hot tea, winning medals at the Global Tea Championship versus the best loose leaf and bag competitors in the world. It also mixes quickly in cold water, transforming a bottle of water into a superior iced tea drink. Given its taste, versatility and clean label, there is nothing like it on the market. We see huge potential for Cusa as a platform extending its reach in the broader functional and refreshment beverage space.”

Since launching in 2017, Cusa Tea has rapidly expanded to more than 1,400 retail locations with retail outlets such as Sprouts, REI, King Soopers, Safeway, HEB and Cost Plus World Market. Cusa Tea also has a robust direct-to-consumer business, with its own website and a registered brand store on Amazon.com. The company has commitments from more than 3,000 new retailers to launch in the third and fourth quarters of 2019, the company said.

“Cusa Tea is innovating in a huge, but stagnant category,” said Jim Lamancusa, founder and CEO of Cusa Tea. “The tea category hasn’t seen anything new for a very long time. With our patented cold-brew, evaporative dehydration process, we can deliver a premium cup of tea in seconds with any temperature of water, anywhere, all without sugar or artificial flavorings.

“This funding comes at a perfect time.” Lamancusa added, “Adding this many new retailers and new products in such a short period of time is very expensive. Our Series A will allow me to expand our team, support our existing retailers, grow into new retailers, as well as launch some exciting new products.”

Break Trail Ventures is an early stage venture fund based in Boulder and Columbus, Ohio. S Cap is a New York-based impact-investor fund.

BOULDER — Big things are brewing for Cusa Tea Inc., the Boulder-based maker of organic instant tea, with the company completing a  $2.5 million Series A round that will help it expand its fast-growing distribution.

The round was led by Break Trail Ventures and S Cap, with participation from existing and new investors, including Organic X Labs, Smart Capital and Service Provider’s Capital. The investment brings Cusa Tea’s total funding since launch to $3.6 million and will help the company aggressively expand its distribution, sales and marketing efforts, as well as broaden and accelerate product development, the company said in a press release

Cusa on May 17 filed a Form D with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that partially captured the raise. The form indicated that the company had raised $2.1 million from 22 investors, out of a total goal of $3.9 million.

Jay Hirsch, manager of Break Trail Ventures, and James Cali, founder of S Cap, will join Cusa Tea’s board of directors.

“Break Trail Ventures is excited to collaborate with and support Cusa Tea as it continues to scale the brand and redefine what it means to be an instant beverage,” Hirsch said in a prepared statement. “It has an incredibly strong brand with a great shelf presence that is shaking up the tea space. Cusa Tea removes the sacrifices that usually come with any instant product by delivering for customers a better, more consistent and more convenient cup of tea. We are excited to see it continue to leverage its IP to deliver superior…