Why a group of former Burt's Bees execs are betting on coffee and keto

Zachery Eanes on

Published in Business News

For Slingshot Coffee, Replogle was an early investor and a mentor. He helped the company determine how to price its products at first, said Jenny Bonchak, CEO of Slingshot.

"I was crafting an ultra-premium product that I felt had a specific value attached to it," Bonchak said. "But he helped me think through what value meant to a potential consumer and how you structure that value and bring in other players like distributors. ... There were a lot of things I didn't realize about how much a distributor would take off the top."

However, Bonchak said, the quality she most values about One Better Ventures is the independence they give her. She said the firm doesn't control her decisions just because they have invested and offered advice.

"They are there when you need them," she said. "But they also trust my perspective."

Slingshot is riding a fast pace of growth, having signed deals with grocery stores like Whole Foods and Publix.

In August, the company raised $2 million, including from Coca-Cola's venture capital arm, an injection of cash that will help the firm expand nationally, beef up its e-commerce standing by selling on Amazon and -- most importantly, Bonchak said -- begin offering a benefits package to its employees.



Replogle pointed out that in addition to Slingshot, both Murphy's Natural, which makes DEET-free mosquito repellent, and Disruptive Enterprises are growing at a rapid pace. Revenue tripled then doubled the past two years at Disruptive, Hockenberry said. Replogle said that revenue was in the tens of millions of dollars.

One Better Ventures is helping another Raleigh startup, FilterEasy, go through a branding change to the name Second Nature and an expansion of its products.

The company, which was founded by two North Carolina State students, has raised more than $18 million and offers a subscription service that regularly sends a new home air filter when it is time to change it. The company is hoping to expand into more home maintenance items, such as water filters, said Thad Tarkington, CEO of Second Nature.


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