Durham startup Mati Energy raises $2.5M

Mati Energy founder Tatiana Birgisson started the company while still a student at Duke University.
Mati Energy founder Tatiana Birgisson started the company while still a student at Duke University. The News & Observer

Energy drink startup Mati Energy has raised another $2.5 million from investors, according to a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The American Underground-based company had sought to raise $3.75 million from in an equity offering, according to the filling, leaving $1.2 million still available. The filing states that 32 investor have participated in the offering so far.

Mati Energy has been one of the more successful startups in recent time in downtown Durham, making headlines for winning Google Demo Day, a competitive pitch contest hosted by Google, and getting $100,000 from AOL co-founder Steve Case in 2015.

Mati Energy was founded in 2012 by Tatiana Birgisson, a Duke University alumnus who began making the company’s energy drinks in her dorm room. The company makes all-natural energy drinks made with tea, fruit juice and guayusa leaves — which packs in the equivalent of one-and-a-half cups of coffee into a 12-ounce drink.

“The extension of our Class A financing will inject the fuel needed to continue the accelerated growth and shouold help to reach new milestones...” Birgisson said in a statement.

The fresh capital will be used to help support the company’s new expansion into the state of Texas, hire more sales and marketing staffers and expand research and development. The company signed on with national distributor UNFI to get in the anchor retailer HEB in Texas.

The distribution of the company’s products has expanded rapidly in the past few years, showing up in grocery stores, such as Whole Foods and Kroger, across much of the Southeast. A can of Mati, which comes in six flavors, sells for $2.49 to $2.69 and has fewer calories than a Red Bull energy drink (45 calories versus 160).

In total, the company has raised around $6 million across since 2012. Investors in the most recent funding round included Duke Angel Network and Durham-based IDEA Fund Partners.

Last year, the company opened up its own manufacturing facility in Clayton, N.C. The 30,000-square-foot facility produced more than 100,000 12-ounce cans in one month last year, though that number was expected to double, according to The News & Observer. The company employed 18 full-time employees last year but is still hiring.

Earlier this year, Birgisson was named part of Forbes Magazine’s 30 Under 30 list for food and beverage companies.

Zachery Eanes: 919-419-6684, @zeanes