VENTURES: Investors Go For Rooibos
Recent Western Cape Business News
CAPE TOWN-based organic ice tea brand BOS started out in June 2010 as a small company with huge ideas. Now, just over a year after their launch, those ideas are coming to fruition with major investments from two international players, Invenfin, the venture capital arm of investment company Stellenbosch-based Remgro, and Manchester United Football Club manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
BOS Ice Tea is an attractive packaged healthy alternative to other cool drinks on the market and it has received a thoroughly good response from both the trade and consumers since its launch in 2010.
BOS co-founders Grant Rushmere and Richard Bowsher have confirmed a 20% investment from Invenfin, investment giant Remgro’s VC division, which helps develop South African start-up companies and bring them into the world market.
With a long history of investing in high growth global brands, Invenfin director and entrepreneur Joe Kieser, is now sitting on the board of directors at BOS. Kieser began his career with the Coca-Cola Company before founding Pentagraph, which was acquired by WPP Plc, and became the world’s largest brand consultancy Enterprise IG. He has consulted for global companies such as Daimler Chrysler, CitiBank, Vodafone, Fiat Group and Ferrari SP and in 2008 co-founded Invenfin.
When talking about their relationship with BOS, Kieser says, “What attracted Invenfin initially was the marvellous brand that BOS has developed. Backing up that distinctive brand is the excellent product itself – the BOS ice tea range is high quality and healthy, and we believe it is well positioned to address the global trend towards healthier soft drinks.”
Sir Alex Ferguson, manager of internationally renowned and hugely popular Manchester United Football Club, has confirmed a 10% personal investment in BOS.
The Scottish-born former footballer is said to have a huge affinity and love for South Africa and Africa as a whole. Besides his passion for football, Sir Alex is a keen investor and is always on the lookout for opportunities to invest in businesses that show a promising future.
And where to for the future? “We hope to see BOS becoming a leading beverage brand and dominant player in the Rooibos-based ice tea vertical worldwide,’ says Bowsher. “To take a homegrown South African product to the world will be very fulfilling.”
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