Atlanta-based Synape announced that the start-up has raised $1 million in funding, with investors including beverage industry executives, medical professionals, convenience retail executives, and other private investors in the CPG space.
The drink, which has a supplements facts panel and contains botanical ingredients like Huperzia serrata and Bacopa monnieri, was born out of Georgia Tech’s CREATE-X Startup Launch by college internship friends Charles Lankau, Daniel Porada, and Brandon Hall.
Their goal was to bring a nootropic product that can compete in the energy drink space but without ingredients like caffeine high fructose corn syrup, or artificial flavors, colors, and sweeteners.
“Nootropics are available almost exclusively online,” Porada told us in an interview this summer. “The fact that this is a ready-to-drink product offers a particularly compelling market opportunity because we have access to the same distribution channels as you would have if you were making an energy drink.”
Shortly after completing Georgia Tech’s program, they recruited Shouvik Ganguly as a co-founder, a Coca-Cola Company alumnus, bringing with him 18 years of expertise and operational experience.
Prior to this round, the team raised two small rounds of friends and family funding to complete research and development on the product and enter the marketplace on a limited scale between 2017 and 2018.
Concurrently with the close of this latest seed round, Synapse concluded its testing phase to move forward with the next level of proof of concept. The testing phase involved retail pilots in 30 locations across Atlanta, GA, and four busy airports, with consistent increase in rate of sale––indicating strong repeat purchasing behavior, the company reported.
The co-founders tested a wide variety of channels, including work, natural grocery, travel, convenience and on-campus, with great success.
With the latest funds amassed, Synapse aims to expand its footprint across the Southeast in 2019, and subsequently the entire East Coast.
“We believe we’re pioneering the ready-to-drink nootropics category,” said Ganguly, Synapse Co-Founder. “Consumers want healthier options, and Synapse addresses mental vitality and offers a unique, sustained natural energy with a great taste.”