Business

Thanks to $2.55 million, you could be able to find Durham’s Mati Energy on shelves throughout the Southeast

Mati Energy founder Tatiana Birgisson, pictured, started her company while still a student at Duke University. Mati has raised more than $5 million from investors this year.
Mati Energy founder Tatiana Birgisson, pictured, started her company while still a student at Duke University. Mati has raised more than $5 million from investors this year. File photo

Energy drink startup Mati Energy has doubled the amount of money it has raised in 2017 — bringing in another $2.55 million in new financing.

The cash infusion follows a $2.5-million fundraising round that came in April.

The American Underground-based company has now raised more than $5 million from investors this year, with 58 separate investors putting money in the company this year. New investors include the Venture Capital Multiplier Fund managed by Durham-based Hatteras Venture Partners and the Carolina Angel Network.

“We thought we had completed our financing this year but there was so much interest and excitement from investors who saw the opportunity after our last close, we decided to expand the round,” Mati founder and CEO Tatiana Birgisson said in a statement.

“With the $5 million raised this year, we will now be able to expand our footprint to much more of the Southeast.”

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.

In total, the company has raised around $8 million since 2012.

Mati Energy was founded in 2012 by Birgisson, a Duke University alumna 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 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 sells for $2.49 to $2.69 and has fewer calories than a Red Bull energy drink (45 calories versus 160).

Earlier this year, with the help of its new funding, the company expanded its distribution into Texas and began hiring more sales and marketing staffers.

The new capital will further grow the company’s footprint across the Southeast — and by the end of the year, Mati will have tripled the number of stores that sell its drinks and doubled the amount of shelf space it occupies, the company said.

“This injection of capital, our largest to date, gives us the ability to take our marketing to the next level,” Birgisson said in a statement. “We have been building momentum in the Southeast and can’t wait for more customers to experience Mati as we expand distribution.”

Mati is also in the process of redesigning the cans it uses and expanding its number of flavors from three to six.

Last year, the company opened its own manufacturing facility in Clayton. 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

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