Liquid Death, the canned water startup, announced it raised $9 million in Series A funding to help push the hardcore brand into more brick-and-mortar retailers.
Co-founder and CEO Mike Cessario told Cheddar they were able to raise the money "fairly quickly" after deciding to expand beyond online sales.
"It wasn't until we really realized that we wanted to start going heavy into the more traditional brick-and-mortar retail space, that obviously gets a lot more capital intensive," Cessario said.
Cessario, who is a punk rock and heavy metal fan, says there weren't many healthy brands marketing to rock and roll subcultures and saw that as an opportunity to be creative in the brand marketing.
"There were really no healthy brands that were speaking anywhere near that kind of demographic. At the end of the day we wanted to take the healthiest thing you can drink and build a really fun, entertaining brand around it," Cessario said.
Hence the Liquid Death "murder your thirst" tagline that combines an aggressive and tongue-in-cheek approach to marketing. The company continues to roll with the same branding in its new advertising campaign "Keep the Underworld Beautiful" that is asking customers to save Hell from plastic bottle waste.
Although the branding is the most visual element of the company's ethos, Cessario says it's not the company's only priority. Liquid Death prides itself on its aluminum cans that contain over 70 percent recycled material and that it exclusively ships products by boat to reduce its carbon footprint.
"We ship by boat to the U.S., which most people don't realize sea freight is the most carbon-efficient mode of transportation that exists," Cessario said.