French Funding for Local Water
A bottled water product from Hawaii just get an infusion of funding all the way from France. We get details from Pacific Business News editor-in-chief A. Kam Napier.
French food giant, Danone, already owns some famous bottled water brands, such as Evian and Volvic. Now it owns a minority stake in Kona Deep Corporation. This Big Island-based bottled water company recently held a $5.5 million financing round, attracting interest from such investors Danone Manifesto Ventures, private equity firm Grand Crossing Capital and several Hawai?i-based investors.
The amount of Danone’s investment is undisclosed, but comes at a helpful time when the company is looking to expand its reach on the Mainland. Says Kona Deep CEO Patrick Turpin, “The U.S. premium water consumer continues to look for more authentic products, and we think deep ocean water solves a unique need and will be a successful market for us.”
Kona Deep gets its water from a depth a 3,000 feet, through a partnership with the state-owned Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawai?i Authority, commonly referred to as NEHLA. NEHLA pumps up the water because it’s cold, for use in its Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion technology. Kona Deep leases land and pays for the water it gets from NEHLA, then desalinizes the water on-site. What the bottler leaves in are naturally occurring electrolytes and minerals, which, along with the novelty of its Hawai?i origins, are what Kona Deep markets as its distinguishing characteristics.