80% of the human body consists of water and every organ, cell, and tissue found in the body is reliant on water to function properly. Yet, 75% of Americans suffer from dehydration. Hydrant is a consumer wellness brand that offers single-use powder packages to maintain optimal hydration levels, free of artificial ingredients. The company’s hydration mix provides up to 3x the electrolytes of sports drinks with 70% less sugar. Hydrant is available direct-to-consumer online and through a number of retail presences.
AlleyWatch caught up with Cofounder John Sherwin to learn more about the company’s expansion into brick-and-mortar locations, expanding product line, and latest round of funding, which brings the total funding raised to $17M+.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
This was a strategic investor round composed of celebrities and athletes that include Lance Bass, Ashley Greene, Aaron Rodgers, Josh Allen, Jonathan Stewart, Darren Sproles, Michael Bisping, Sloane Stephens, and Ron Everline. We raised $8.5 Million.
Tell us about the product or service that Hydrant offers.
Hydrant is a science-backed wellness brand that creates products focused on hydration, daily performance, and mental wellbeing. Our products mix quickly in water so that you get hydrated along with other wellness benefits.
What inspired the start of Hydrant?
My personal experience with chronic dehydration in college was the impetus for Hydrant. With long hours studying, sports, and the occasional party, I searched for a way to stay hydrated, and found myself chugging a ton of water even though it didn’t really solve the problem, and I was ending up with an electrolyte imbalance. Since I was studying Biology at Oxford, I began reading up on the science behind hydration and testing all the products on the market to help me stay hydrated. They all were either ineffective, too sugary, or full of artificial ingredients with a horrible taste, so Hydrant was born.
Hydrant was born of efficacy, rather than trend. We pride ourselves on offering simple products for complex problems and keep our product line stocked only with science-backed solutions.
Our product philosophy is what sets us apart: Efficacy, Simplicity and an Elevated Experience. We use effective ingredients, fewer where possible, and elevate the experience with real fruit juice powder, and no artificial sweeteners.
What market does Hydrant target and how big is it?
Everyone is impacted by hydration and it seems to be an issue that many can’t rectify on their own, so our target audience is wide. As we expand our line, we look to solve similar common problems throughout our customers’ days like sleep, energy, and immunity issues.
What’s your business model?
Hydrant first launched strictly as a direct-to-consumer brand, but recently we have expanded into retail – and quickly. For example, we were in just 47 doors in September 2020. Now, we’re in around 10,000, just seven months later. We want to make it as easy for our customers to find us as possible.
How has the business changed since we last spoke after your seed round in 2020?
Since then, we have expanded our lines. We now also offer SLEEP and IMMUNITY in addition to our HYDRATE and ENERGY lines. Our growth hinges on customer feedback as we find them using Hydrant for reasons we never expected. For example, when we found out customers were using Hydrant to hydrate right before bed, it made sense to roll that into a sleep line with proven ingredients for those who struggle with sleep issues as well.
What was the funding process like?
We build strong relationships with our existing investors so the funding process is quick and allows us to focus on building the business.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
Fundraising always forces you to take your focus briefly away from growing the business, so that is always the biggest challenge. We’re lucky to have closed the round quickly to get back to work building.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
Our own growth and the growth of the category really speak for themselves. On top of that, for athlete investors who see many of their own problems solved with our products, it’s an easy business to get behind.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
We’re going to be focused on raising the profile of our business across the country now that we have distribution in retail Nationwide.
What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
We’re going to be heads-down focused on growth and building out our product lines. We have a great team, some of whom are newer since we closed this funding round, and we’re ready to execute our plan.
What’s your favorite outdoor dining restaurant in NYC?
King restaurant on the edge of Soho/West Village. It’s a year-round favorite for me!