liquid death

This week on the L.A. Venture podcast, hear from Mike Jones, the founder and CEO of studio and venture firm Science Inc. Jones is considered an expert on scaling and robust business strategy. He runs Science Inc. with Peter Pham, Greg Gilman and Tom Dare.

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Liquid Death, the bad-boy themed brand selling Austrian mountain water in tallboy cans, has had quite the life.

The unlikely Santa Monica company filed paperwork indicating it is raising nearly $15 million in additional equity funding. It says it has already raised about $10 million of that, according to paperwork filed Wednesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Michael Cessario, the ad-man turned co-founder and CEO of Liquid Death, did not respond to emails seeking comment.

Liquid Death most recently raised $23 million of Series B venture funding from Convivialité Ventures, Velvet Sea Ventures and Uncommon Denominator in September at a pre-money valuation at $82 million, according to Pitchbook data. It also raised $10.1 million of Series A venture funding in February 2020 in a deal led by Velvet Sea Ventures at a pre-money valuation at $39.9 million.

Science Inc, a Santa Monica-based startup studio and early-stage venture fund, led the company's 2019 seed round at a $5 million valuation.

Featuring the slogan "Murder Your Thirst," Liquid Death sells its mountain water directly to consumers for $14.99 a case, not including shipping. It is also available in select 7-11 and Whole Foods locations.

As Thanksgiving approached, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti implored residents to stay home and halt all nonessential travel as COVID-19 cases skyrocketed.

But on Thanksgiving Day, Peter Pham, one of L.A.'s most prominent early-stage investors and the co-founder of Science Inc, a Santa Monica startup studio and early-stage venture fund that manages over $100 million and recently launched a $310.5 million SPAC, posted a selfie of himself atop Las Vegas' High Roller ferris wheel.

He was clutching a can of Liquid Death, the bad boy-themed canned water brand that has improbably become Science's buzziest startup. Pham guzzles six cans a day, because he says he does not trust municipal tap water.

"I'm not afraid of dying," Pham told me recently. "There's risk for everything and COVID is a risk that I feel very confident in my ability to deal with. I could be wrong and that's OK. I am OK if I fucked up and I die from it."

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