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North East-based Ethical Drinks Mixer raises over £1.1 million in investment

From student start-up to supermarket shelves and UK bars

23 May 2023

Award-winning mixer brand Lixir Drinks - founded by two Newcastle University graduates - now has its health-conscious drinks stocked in Fenwick, Asda, and bars through a distribution deal with drinks giant Moulson Coors.

Set up in 2018, co-founders Matt Mahatme and Jordan Palmer were able to launch and expand with the support of an equity-free grant of £3,000 from Newcastle University’s START UP team. This initial cash injection covered marketing costs for Lixir to run a crowdfunding campaign, where they subsequently raised close to £20,000.

Newcastle University’s START UP team offer business support for students and graduates of up to 3 years who want to work for themselves, full or part-time. As well as equity-free grant funding, their support includes tailored one-to-one advice and coaching, skills development and a business pre-accelerator. Alongside Lixir Drinks, over 200 active start-ups have tapped into their funding, advice and resources including global sportswear brand Castore, high-growth tech platform One Utility Bill and up-and-coming innovators PolyBox and Hard Yards.

Lixir Co-Founder Jordan Palmer said: “Newcastle University offered a great boost and support for Matt and I. This really kickstarted the business in the early days and got us off the ground. For the first year or so of running the business, the START UP team gave us desk space free of charge at the University and access to business mentors, facilitating introductions to investors and other business professionals via meetings and networking events, which helped us build our network in the North East”.

Sustainability Impact

Lixir Drinks’ mission is to be a ‘more contemporary, healthier, and more conscious brand’, hoping to ‘revamp’ the mixer industry with their range of drinks. As part of this, Lixir received the prestigious international B-Corp Status in October 2022, through working to offset their carbon emissions and minimise their environmental impact, becoming the first UK mixer company to do so. Read the full sustainability report here. 

The company works with several partners, including Planet Mark and Ecologi, to help them continue towards their goal of becoming carbon negative. They are also official partners of the international water charity Just A Drop. 

Taking the next step

Lixir initially sold its products in Fenwick before securing £1.1 million in funding and launching into ten markets. The brand has now obtained additional funding from investors and backers, including the founder of Pure Gym, Peter Roberts, and former commercial director of Pernod Ricard, Chris Ellis. This has helped them take the next step, stocking their range of mixers in restaurants, bars, and now Asda stores across the UK.

Co-Founder Matt Mahatme said: “By launching in Asda, we have an opportunity to catapult our brand further after an incredible 12 months. We have been working hard on our on-premises distribution since we launched, having signed a distribution deal with Molson Coors Beverage Co. We are now available in over 400 bars and restaurants across the UK, making this the perfect time to catapult our business into one of the major four retailers.”

START UP Manager Claire Adamson said: “Jordan and Matt have created an ethical brand that aligns with their own values; their vision for the business has always been to make a positive difference within their industry. They are committed to social and environmental responsibility, an integral part of their brand identity.

In under seven years, they have achieved such impressive growth and with major deals now in place - they’re only just getting started.”