NFL Hall of Famer Jerry Rice was a longtime nemesis of the Dallas Cowboys when he played for the San Francisco 49ers. Now he’s an energy drink entrepreneur whose Plano-based G.O.A.T. Fuel has closed on its initial oversubscribed seed series funding round. The round raised $5 million, putting the startup’s total funds raised since its 2020 launch at $12 million.
The seed round was led in conjunction by Stage 1 Fund and Morrison Seger Venture Capital Partners, with past investors in the company including former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr., serial entrepreneur and Minnesota Timberwolves owner Marc Lore, and co-founder Jerry Rice.
“We’re grateful to have secured our first-ever institutional round of funding in a space that’s becoming increasingly more competitive and despite growing market challenges,” Jaqui Rice Gold, CEO and co-founder of G.O.A.T. Fuel and Jerry Rice’s daughter, said in a statement. “Our success in this round is another indication that conviction is building around our brand and demand is accelerating. Our new investors and the accompanying capital infusion helps us add fuel to the fire.”
Aiming to capture a significant segment of the sports energy drink market
“I’m very selective about what I put into my body and love inspiring others who share the same values and beliefs to live a healthier lifestyle by choosing health-forward products like G.O.A.T. Fuel,” Jerry Rice said in a statement. “We’re excited about the future of G.O.A.T. Fuel, and securing this financing is a testament to the community’s support of our product. We can’t wait to bring G.O.A.T. Fuel to the world and motivate others to become the greatest of all time.”
Harnessing explosive growth in energy drink market
The company said that G.O.A.T. Fuel is becoming a go-to energy drink for those looking for healthier, great-tasting energy, and is available online and at roughly 10,000 retail locations across the country including Publix, Target, Walmart, and HEB.
Known for its cordyceps mushrooms—the first energy drink to tap into the powerhouse adaptogen—G.O.A.T. Fuel delivers sustained energy and is also powered by natural caffeine, green tea, BCAAs and 10 essential vitamins to improve recovery.
It’s the official energy drink of the Los Angeles Lakers.
“Stage 1 Fund is pleased to announce our investment in G.O.A.T. Fuel, a differentiated and emerging brand within the sports energy silo that has demonstrated explosive growth over the past 2 years. The G.O.A.T. Fuel team and brand are well positioned to capture market share within the highly competitive and massive U.S. energy drink market which is projected to be $30 billion by 2027,” David Bartholomew, board director and managing partner, Stage 1 Fund, said in a statement. “Along with our Co-Investors & Advisory Board, we are focused on our continued support of the brand as we anticipate accelerated growth across new territories.”
Rogers Healy, founder and CEO of Morrison Seger Venture Capital Partners, said his firm believes “in being the greatest version of you, every single day, which is why being a part of the G.O.A.T Fuel raise was a no-brainer. A company lead by great founders, with the goal of bringing people greatness, is a rare combo in the world of investing. We believe in the G.O.A.T. Fuel mission and are thrilled to be included on the ground level.”
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