Editor's Spotlight: Startup Focus

Egaming startup to supercharge international expansion with new investment

By Nikki Hancocks

- Last updated on GMT

Egaming startup to supercharge international expansion with new investment

Related tags startups Innovation eSports Investment functional beverage beverage

Consumer and retail private equity specialist True has acquired a majority stake in the UK-based egaming energy drink startup Sneak, as it looks to boost international expansion.

Founded in 2018 by experienced consumer entrepreneurs Will Peirce and Jonny Teeling, Sneak​ is the product of many years of working together having founded a number of successful direct-to-consumer brands within the health and wellbeing space.

In Sneak, the pair have developed a strong brand identity, featuring an instantly recognisable rabbit logo which is also seen across the brand's popular apparel range.

The energy range includes 'clean', powdered formulas in tubs and sachets, as well as pre-mixed cans. Energy-boosting ingredients in the products include: taurine, vitamin C and B Vits, folic acid, and thiamin. Its range of powders, which are sugar free and made with natural colours and flavours, have been designed to interest the next generation of consumers that care about the ingredients in their products. 

Their marketing has developed an engaged customer base, with their limited-edition boxes often selling at five times their original price on secondary

sneak sachets
Sneak sachets

markets.

The result of this creative approach to business has seen the company grow at over 200% annually in the last three years and it is expected to generate £30m in sales next year.

The deal, which represents the first investment by True from its recently announced Fund III, will support co-founders Peirce and Teeling to explore retail options and build out Sneak’s distribution channels, from the strong digitally-led foundation it has today, as well as accelerate international expansion. Currently over half of Sneak’s customers are in the UK with a third in the US and growing.

Sneak co-founder Jonny Teeling says: “Will and I are delighted to have found an investment partner that slots in so naturally to our company. The team at True seemed to get us and the Sneak brand straight away. They place people and culture at the top of the priority list, which was highly important to us and overall, they seem very different, and more human, to how we’d imagined private equity investors to be. We’re really excited to have True alongside us for this next phase of our journey.”

True co-founder and Sneak board member Paul Cocker says: “Jonny and Will have done a fantastic job of bringing a clean, differentiated energy drink to market and creating a brand that truly resonates with Sneak’s core customer base of next generation gamers and creatives.

"They’ve also built a fantastic team and a culture that’s very aligned with our own – they’ve been deliberate in trying to find a partner that can help them with the next stage of their growth and we are looking forward to utilising both our digital expertise and our international network across grocery and retail.”

 

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