Photo by Mercedes Mehling on Unsplash

Gaingels, the world’s first group of angel investors organized to support LGBT start-up founders has made its first investment in Australia through Nexba, the “naturally sugar-free” beverage company.

The investment is expected to help the company become cash flow positive and to enable it to accelerate its overseas expansion.

Gaingels (short for “gaining from angels” and “gay angels”) started as a part-time member of an angel investor network in 2015.  It was officially organized as a syndicate in 2017, with New York co-founders David Beatty and Paul Grossinger working full-time for the business.

Mr. Grossinger told The Australian Financial Review, that after Nexba they are looking at other Australian companies.

According to Grossinger, Gaingels would like to invest in places like the U.S and Australia where there are similarities in language, law, tax treatment and culture with the U.K.    

Mr Grossinger believes that Nexba, which was founded by Drew Bilbe and Troy Douglas in 2011, aligned well with Gaingels. They also liked Nexba’s product and what the company has achieved without a large amount of capital.

Natural sugar-free formula

The $6 million raise for Nexba in VentureCrowd, which is likely to end in March, values the business at $20 million. $ 5.46 million has been raised as of March 4.

Nexba spent six years to develop its own proprietary naturally sugar-free sweetener formula. The business is now riding the anti-sugar wave. It makes a range of tonic water, flavoured mineral waters, kombuchas and soft drinks.

Nexba CEO Troy Douglas said his ultimate goal is to make Nexba a household name worldwide, just like Pepsi or Coca-Cola.

Next year, Nexba will focus on scaling up its presence in the UK and expand to the U.S. while accelerating growth in Australia.

Mr Douglas believes the company will also be successful in the U.S. “because it has managed to maintain the sweet taste of its products while removing all the sugar.”

“What’s exciting for our business is we’re in high growth. We’re now a scale-up, [rather than a start-up].”