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The Pandemic's Effect on Drinking 🍸

The Pandemic's Effect on Drinking 🍸
August 10, 2021

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One of the harsh realities exposed by the pandemic was our collective lack of coping strategies, as seen in the drastic uptick in alcohol consumption as a way to manage stress and uncertainty. In plain numbers, alcohol sales in April of 2020 were up a staggering 477% compared to the year prior April. An incredible amount of scientific research and journalism has been granted to this topic, but the takeaway is often the following: remove the social aspect of social drinking and what you might have is a problematic over-reliance on alcohol. Meanwhile, the summer months have opened us back up to social drinking, but the the introspective hangover of the pandemic lives on. 

Somewhere Above Rock Bottom

More and more, people are recognizing a “gray area” in their relationship to alcohol, one that comes up short of full-blown addiction and dependency but has certain signposts of habitual and reliant behavior. For the “sober curious” considering breaks, like a “Sober September”, or all-out abstinence, there are alternatives that can make the switch enjoyable–even eye-opening–into a world beyond booze. 

Beyond Shirley Temples

Kin Euphorics is creating a new category of non-alcoholic beverages, whose ingredients, aka “euphoric features,” utilize adaptogens, nootropics, & botanics to create calm & joy, without the hangover. The company is in nearly 200 stores across the U.S. and also sells D2C. 

Diageo is a publicly-traded food & beverage producer that has been on a bit of a buying spree in the non-alcoholic (ie, NA) category. The company acquired Seedlip, a maker of non-alcoholic spirits stocked on shelves in hipster wellness shops, and Ritual Zero Proof, who makes dupes for tequila, gin, rum & whiskey, without the alcohol or the calories.

For beer lovers, there’s Athletic Brewing which promises to beat out standard brewers in blind taste tests while leaving out the groggy morning after. A quick search on the brewer's store locator serves up 12 locations within walking distance from my Brooklyn apartment. The beer maker raised a $50MM Round C in July led by Alliance Consumer Growth & TRB Advisors. 

Sober curious? For NYC, check out Getaway in Greenpoint. Also see Listen Bar in Noho, which has gone virtual, with mocktail mixing classes & live events.

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Since last week, PrivCo has added:

1163 Companies | 123 Funding Activities | 96 M&A Deals

Funding & Deal Highlights:

Dataiku raises $400MM from Tiger Global Management

Analytics • Round E • New York, NY

Carputty raises $7.2MM from Kickstart Seed Fund

Consumer Finance • Seed • Atlanta, GA

Knowde raises $72MM from Coatue Management

Chemicals • Round B • San Jose, CA

MotoRefi raises $5MM from Curql Fund

Auto Refinance • Round B • Arlington, VA

PepGen raises $112.5MM from RA Capital Management

Biotechnology • Equity • Cambridge, MA

Kensho raises $3.5MM from KB Partners

Health Care Services • Seed • New York, NY

Lucid Lane raises $16MM from Accel Partners

Drug Research • Round A • Los Altos, CA

Bluecore raises $125MM from Georgian Partners Capital

AI Optimization • Round E • New York, NY

Polywork raises $13MM from A16Z

Social Network • Round A • New York, NY

Bansk Group will acquire Arcadia Consumer Healthcare

Pharmaceuticals • Acquisition • Bridgewater, NJ

WM Partners acquires Raw Sugar Living

Consumer Products • Acquisition • Milpitas, CA

Levi Strauss & Co. will acquire Beyond Yoga

Apparel • Acquisition • Culver City, CA

Clearlake Capital Group acquires Cornerstone OnDemand for $5.2BN

HR Tech • Acquisition • Santa Monica, CA

J.P. Morgan Chase makes $50MM investment in Vera Whole Health

Health Care Services • Equity • Seattle, WA

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