Jennifer Lopez And Alex Rodriguez Invest In Coffee Brand Super Coffee Cofounded By 30 Under 30 Honorees

Food & Drink

Kitu Life Inc, the company behind the coffee brand Super Coffee cofounded by three brothers who made our 2019 30 Under 30 Food and Drink list, announced today that it has picked up a minority investment from superstar couple Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez. 

JLo’s and ARod’s investment is a follow on to the Series B round the company closed in July, which at the time put its valuation at over $200 million. Super Coffee expanded the terms of the round for the celebrity couple and closed the investment from Lopez and Rodriguez in August. Per Super Coffee, the post-money valuation is now $240 million.

Jim DeCicco, the oldest brother and the company’s CEO, says that it’s surreal for them that five years after starting the company they have attracted the attention of their childhood idol. (DeCicco says that growing up as Yankees fans the brothers pretended to be Alex Rodriguez while playing baseball in their backyard).

“The cool thing about them is that Jen is a global icon, Alex is one of the best baseball players to ever play the game, and they are at a point in their career where they are shifting from their huge personal brand to being known for their business acumen,” DeCicco says. “We view them as business partners rather than celebrity endorsement or brand advocates. They are going to coach us, this is a real partnership and as minority owners in our company they have a vested interest in seeing it succeed.”

In a press statement, Rodriguez says that they like winning companies with winning founders, who have energy and who are coachable. 

“The brothers behind Super Coffee fit the bill. They have built a strong business in a short time and we look forward to helping the brand reach its full potential,” Rodriguez says.

Lopez adds that when Alex and she first heard the Super Coffee story and tasted the product, they wanted to be a part of it. 

“We knew we could use our networks to build this brand globally,” Lopez says.

The investment comes after Super Coffee signed a deal with Anheuser-Busch InBev’ for national distribution to over 25,000 stores in June of this year. A few months earlier, in January, Alex Rodriguez became a co-owner and chairman of the Dominican Republic’s Presidente beer (owned by Anheuser-Busch).

“Initially the connection was serendipitous, but I think it was really part of the strategic value that Alex brings to our brand,” DeCicco says. “Once he found out that we were given an exclusive distribution deal, Alex realized that he can have an influence on the future and the outcome of our business by simply picking up the phone and leveraging his top-to-top relationship with Anheuser Busch’s executives.”

Rodriguez first heard of Super Coffee from Shark Tank where the brothers appeared in 2018. Then, the DeCiccos didn’t get a deal, nor an offer from any of the sharks (Rodriguez was a guest judge, but wasn’t present during the filming of that episode). At the time, the three of them asked for a $500,000 investment in exchange of 4.5%. Today, at a $240 million valuation, 4.5% share would amount to just under $11 million.

With the investment, JLo and ARod join a growing list of celebrity investors that have acquired a stake in Super Coffee, which already includes actor Patrick Schwarzenegger, Green Bay Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Denver Nuggets’ center Mason Plumlee, and former NFL MVP Boomer Esiason, among others. 

The company was started in 2015, when the youngest brother Jordan, who was a starting basketball player at Philadelphia University, started brewing coffee in his dorm room as a way to stay up late nights and manage a busy student athlete schedule. 

Once they turned it into a company, Jim left his job as financial analyst for The Blackstone Group, the middle brother Jake stayed on for just one more year to get his undergraduate degree, and Jordan decided to drop out of school to accept the Peter Thiel Fellowship.

The NY-based enterprise currently has 90 full-time employees and has seen an explosive growth in revenue since its inception.  In 2016 Super Coffee made $200,000 in sales, in 2017 it was $800,000, in 2018 it grew to $3.5 million, in 2019 it was $26 million, and in 2020 their estimates are that they’re going to clear $70 million in sales.

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