Olipop, Erewhon’s Favorite Soda Brand, Raises $30 Million to Expand Nationally

Molly Wright

Molly Wright is an intern for dot.LA. She previously edited the London School of Economics' student newspaper in the United Kingdom, interned for The Hollywood Reporter and was the blogging editor for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

Image courtesy of Olipop
From CBD-infused sparkling waters to herbal tonics, there is no shortage of startup soda brands pitching healthy alternatives to the long-dominant “Big Soda” industry. One brand, Olipop, has gained notable traction in Los Angeles—having made its debut at one of L.A.’s buzziest grocers and assembled an enviable cadre of celebrity backers.

On Tuesday, Olipop unveiled a new $30 million Series B funding round led by Monogram Capital Partners, the Beverly Hills-based venture capital firm that focuses on consumer and retail businesses. Joining Monogram is a slew of big-name investors including pop star Camilla Cabello, all three of the Jonas Brothers, actress and comedian Mindy Kaling and Goop lifestyle mogul Gwyneth Paltrow, as well as founders and executives from the likes of PepsiCo, TikTok, Equinox and Shake Shack. The funding values Olipop at $200 million, according to the startup.

Though based in Oakland, Olipop has established close ties in the L.A. community. Launched in 2018, the soda brand first appeared on the shelves of trendy organic supermarket Erewhon, where it quickly became one of the top-selling drinks. (Olipop has since expanded to larger chains like Whole Foods, Kroger and Sprouts.)

“We wouldn’t be where we are right now without the L.A. ecosystem jumping on board,” Olipop head of new business development Steven Vigilante told dot.LA. “Hopefully we can replicate that in the rest of the country.”

The brand has sought to capture the nostalgia of cracking open a Coke—it offers soda fountain-era flavors like Vintage Cola and Classic Root Beer, as well as fruitier twists like Strawberry Vanilla—without the artificialities that accompany traditional sodas. Olipop’s combination of prebiotics and unorthodox ingredients like Jerusalem artichoke, chicory root and slippery elm bark creates a mixture that is relatively low on sugar and calories while rich in fiber. (Each can contains two-to-five grams of sugar, 35-to-45 calories and up to nine grams of fiber.)

Monogram saw the potential in a better-for-you soda alternative and considered Olipop to be a first mover in the space, according to Jared Stein, a partner at the Beverly Hills-based VC firm. The Series B is Monogram’s third investment in the company, after it participated in the startup’s seed round and led its $10 million Series A in 2020.

“We saw a massive market-size opportunity in soda,” Stein told dot.LA. “Olipop’s flavor profile fits much more closely towards soda—which becomes important when you think about not just reaching your customer in a Whole Foods on the coast, but being able to convert a longtime soda drinker in the middle of the country who’s more value-focused in terms of price point.” (Olipop sells for $2.49 per can at retailers like Target.)

Olipop plans to use the Series B funding to grow its team, develop more flavors and products and expand its ecommerce and wholesale channels. The brand also plans to ramp up its marketing presence through both a national TV ad campaign and online channels like TikTok, where an influencer-led campaign is in the works.

“It took us three years to get to 8,000 stores by the end of 2021, and we’ll be in 19,000 [stores] by June of this year,” Vigilante said.


Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.


Henrik Fisker Says Tesla Price Cuts Haven’t Fazed Ocean Rollout

David Shultz

David Shultz reports on clean technology and electric vehicles, among other industries, for dot.LA. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside, Nautilus and many other publications.

A Fisker electric vehicle.​
Courtesy of Fisker

Last week in the dot.LA newsletter I wrote about Tesla’s decision to slash prices by as much as 20% on their vehicles and how the decision might impact Southern California’s EV startups. I called the price cuts a “tough pill to swallow” for Fisker in particular since they would make many of Tesla’s price points more competitive with Fisker’s first production model, The Ocean.

The Ocean is currently undergoing homologation, but Henrik Fisker, the company’s CEO, confirmed to dot.LA that the company hopes the process to be completed at the end of February. From there, it could take several weeks to ship the SUVs from Austria to the United States.

Read moreShow less

Office Hours: Former Lawyer Turned CEO Diankha Linear on Cultivating Community

Spencer Rascoff

Spencer Rascoff serves as executive chairman of dot.LA. He is an entrepreneur and company leader who co-founded Zillow, Hotwire, dot.LA, Pacaso and Supernova, and who served as Zillow's CEO for a decade. During Spencer's time as CEO, Zillow won dozens of "best places to work" awards as it grew to over 4,500 employees, $3 billion in revenue, and $10 billion in market capitalization. Prior to Zillow, Spencer co-founded and was VP Corporate Development of Hotwire, which was sold to Expedia for $685 million in 2003. Through his startup studio and venture capital firm, 75 & Sunny, Spencer is an active angel investor in over 100 companies and is incubating several more.

​Diankha Linear
Diankha Linear

On this episode of Office Hours, Community CEO Diankha Linear joins host Spencer Rascoff to discuss her foray into the startup world and the strategic approaching to scaling up.

Read moreShow less

LA Tech ‘Moves’: Dreamscape, LinQuest and PetDX Gain New CEOs

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

LA Tech ‘Moves’: Dreamscape, LinQuest and PetDX Gain New CEOs

“Moves,” our roundup of job changes in L.A. tech, is presented by Interchange.LA, dot.LA's recruiting and career platform connecting Southern California's most exciting companies with top tech talent. Create a free Interchange.LA profile here—and if you're looking for ways to supercharge your recruiting efforts, find out more about Interchange.LA's white-glove recruiting service by emailing Sharmineh O’Farrill Lewis (sharmineh@dot.la). Please send job changes and personnel moves to moves@dot.la.


Read moreShow less