Yerbaé Ups its Game: Offers Up Ownership in the Company
The clean energy drink company Yerbaé is going public. The company will soon be available for stock trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX and TSX-V). But before it does, the company is in the process of raising a total of $9 million to support its growth.
What this means for you: For a limited time, you have the opportunity to invest in Yerbaé’s pre-IPO on the equity crowdfunding portal called StartEngine, which has valued the company at roughly $44.6 million prior to Yerbaé becoming available for trading on the TSX, and TSX-V.
Another Way Yerbaé is Different: Typically, an IPO is designed for those who are able to write million dollar checks to invest in a company, but as Yerbaé’s co-founders Todd and Karrie Gibson shared, their vision is to provide everyone the opportunity to invest, from consumers, to retailers, to distribution partners and members of the CrossFit community.
- “$500 or a million dollars from an individual investor. Let them invest. Everyone who helped us get to where we are today should have the opportunity to benefit from the company’s growth and the opportunity to become an owner in the company. We have seen incredible brands grow out of the CrossFit community and we want everyone to join this rising boat with us,” Todd said.
Remind me: Yerbaé uses Yerba mate— a naturally caffeinated plant grown in South and Central America—to produce a caffeinated drink rich with antioxidants. It’s more refreshing than coffee or tea and gives you the energy you want without the spike or crash typically experienced with traditional energy drinks. Further, it doesn’t contain sugar, calories or artificial ingredients.
- The Gibsons founded Yerbaé in 2017 and began selling their products in retailers, such as Safeway, Albertson, Costco, and c-stores. ‘
- Then in 2021, they discovered the CrossFit community when social posts began popping up from CrossFit athletes across the country who had discovered Yerbaé.
- One of these athletes was three-time CrossFit Games champion Annie Thorisdottir, who had fallen in love with the product. Today, Thorisdottir is both an investor and a member of Yerbaé’s board.
Breaking Into CrossFit
Since the beginning, Todd and Karrie Gibson have taken a “non-traditional approach,” explained Todd, whose company made their debut in the CrossFit space just a little over a year ago at the Mid Atlantic CrossFit Challenge in Knoxville, TN. and have continued to grow within the community since.
“While many larger brands enter a space and buy their way into the space. We take a much more social and engaging route to building our community. We believe that your connection to consumers should be authentic, organic and add value to their lives, “ Karrie said.
Todd added: “We believe it’s better to start from the ground level and earn your credibility with the community, because we believe that long-term the community will embrace us and we want to be there to embrace the community.”
So this is exactly what they did. They waded their way into the community and let people come to them.
It worked, to say the least, as pretty soon Thorisdottir came knocking.
“She became such a believer in the brand, and she put a significant investment into the company,” Todd explained of how Thorisdottir invested in their company in 2021.
Having Thorisdottir on their team has gone a long way in helping them connect with and understand the CrossFit community on a deeper level, Todd and Karrie explained.
“She has been such an inspirational leader for us in the community. It’s so special the way she connects with the CrossFit audience. It’s so genuine. It’s authentic. She has this infectious smile and authentically and connects with everyone, not to mention all of her incredible accomplishments that are absolutely exceptional. Annie helps guide the company in the CrossFit world and helps us with those connections, and even just helps us stay out of potential pitfalls,” Karrie said.
Thorisdottir also led the Gibsons to the CrossFit Games last year, where they intended to give their drinks away for free in full cans, but with a title beverage sponsor in place they weren’t allowed.
Undeterred, they came up with a creative solution. Yerbae sold bracelets for $5, and if you had a bracelet, you could come and get as many drinks as you wanted, “which really just drove that engagement between us and the community,” Todd said.
And didn’t stop there. They donated every dollar from the bracelet sales (and the company matched that amount) to the Dancer Love Foundation—for a little over $14,000.
The Gibsons’ experience at the Games, where they heard countless stories of how CrossFit had changed lives, touched them, so much so that they felt compelled to help further.
“We were so moved by just how many people have been impacted by the pandemic, rehabilitation, true sense of belonging and so much more …and found this special place within the CrossFit community,” Todd explained.
This led them to set up a scholarship program earlier this year, where they let people tell their stories about how CrossFit had impacted their lives. They chose 250 submissions and sponsored their CrossFit membership fees for two months.
Furthermore, Thorisdottir, a box owner herself, had identified that many gym owners are struggling, especially through the pandemic, so Yerbaé, Thorisdottir’s help, launched an initiative to help gym owners, as well. They did this by giving away $200 of free product to any gym who wanted to sell Yerbae to their members.
After hundreds of gyms cashed in on the offer, the Gibsons decided to maintain the program, and today any new gym owner who wants to stock Yerbae gets their first $100 free.
Beyond helping regular gym-goers and gyms owners, Yerbaé also is committed to supporting up-and-coming athletes in the space, most recently partnering with fan favorite James Sprague, who placed sixth at the Syndicate Crown Semifinals, while other Yerbaé athletes include Shaylin Laure and Nicole Gibson-Burke.
And, of course, Yerbaé showed up again at the Games this year, where thousands of fans enjoyed their drink all weekend long, and where the two teams they sponsor—CrossFit Invictus and Team CrossFit Reykjavik—finished third and fourth respectively.
“We are so proud of both teams’ performances and thrilled to be their partners. To see the community once again embrace us and our clean energy proposition was nothing short of amazing,” Todd said.
The 2022 CrossFit season may have come to an end, but Yerbaé is already planning on how they will continue to invest in the community by attending events, athlete partnerships, and of course, giving away many, many free cans.
If you would like to join the Clean Energy movement and would like to Invest in Yerbae click here for more details.