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Gaingels – the world-first investment vehicle for LGBT founders – invests in its first Australian company Nexba as part of its $6 million Series A capital raise

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Paul Grossinger

Nexba, Australia’s leading Naturally Sugar Free beverage brand, has become the first Australian company to be backed by the world-first, investment vehicle for LGBT founders, Gaingels.

The investment forms part of Nexba’s Series A capital raise, looking to close shortly at $6 million with the Gaingels adding $150,000. The final allocation of Nexba’s Series A round is currently live on crowdfunding platform VentureCrowd.

Gaingelsderived from “gay angels” and “gaining from angels” – is an angel-investing group of members who invest their own funds into LGBTQ-led companies. The group currently operates in US, Canadian and British markets. Gaingels was formed to actively advocate for leadership diversity. LGBT founders have been shown to face discrimination and are less likely to receive funding. A recent study found that 37% of founders were not “out” to investors and 12% thought being “out” would hurt them.

What does this mean for Nexba?

Nexba’s Series A funding will be used to accelerate Australian growth and support global expansion plans, after recently launching into the UK through a major deal with English supermarket giant, Sainsbury’s.

Nexba has its sights on becoming the fastest growing Naturally Sugar Free brand, with a focus on proving global scalability of its proprietary, natural sweetener blend. This follows a record year of significant growth, including 148% increase in year-on-year gross sales and household penetration up 202% in Australia alone.

Troy Douglas, Nexba Co-founder and Global CEO commented, “I’m honored that Nexba is Gaingels’ first Aussie investment. As an openly-gay founder in a family-first business, I’m aware of how fortunate I’ve been to have the support of my business partner and brother-in-law, Drew Bilbe. That said, I will always be thankful to groups like Gaingels who lead the way by encouraging each of us to feel safe and proud of who we are.”

“Capital raising is an intense experience, but it has transitioned Nexba from being a start-up to a scale-up. As custodians of our Nexba Legends (our shareholders), we are energised to continue reinventing high sugar and artificial categories. Recent product range launches include Tonic Waters and more functional offerings such as our Kombucha and Probiotic waters. I’m more excited than ever to put our Australian Naturally Sugar Free innovation on the global stage.”

Troy Douglas and Drew Bilbe, Co-founders Nexba

What has Gaingels achieved so far?

Since Paul Grossinger and David Beatty co-founded Gaingels in late 2014, they have invested more than $10 million directly and led $25 million in investments from other organisations; 32 companies and eight venture capital funds have received investment, including challenger bank Varo, travel tech start-up Freebird and swimwear company Andie Swim, which recently expanded to Australia.

Mr. Grossinger commented, “We’re proud that Nexba is going to be our first Australian venture. We believe in the company’s leadership, and that its brand and proprietary product range will continue to translate in Australia and beyond. Gaingels backs companies with LGBT leadership, such as Troy and Nexba, because we believe that diverse leadership correlates with stronger culture, better opportunities for more LGBT senior leadership at the companyand, ultimately, stronger performance. We look forward to helping Nexba scale toward its ultimate potential.”

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