18.21 Drinks

18.21 Drinks

Growth Stage

Elevate your drink

Elevate your drink


Raised to Date: Raised: $279,131

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Year Founded



Food, Beverage, & Restaurants

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Wilmington, Delaware

Business Type


18.21 Drinks, with a $10 million valuation cap, is raising funds on Republic. The beverage company is meeting the demands of modern customers with its premium sparkling beverages, bitters, cocktail mixers, and spiked low ABV sparkling beverages. Additionally, the CNBS brand makes cannabis-infused sparkling beverages using high-quality ingredients. 18.21 Drinks was founded by Missy Koefod and Kristin Koefod in 2014. The proceeds of the current crowdfunding campaign, with a minimum raise of $25,000 and a maximum raise of $1,070,000, will be used for production, outsourcing, sales and hiring, marketing, and general corporate expenses. 18.21 Drinks products are available in 48 states and internationally. The company has generated over $5.5 million in lifetime revenues.

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Financials as of: 09/14/2020
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18.21 Drinks has been selected as a “Deal to Watch” by KingsCrowd. This distinction is reserved for deals selected into the top 10%-20% of our due diligence funnel. If you have questions regarding our deal diligence and selection methodology, please reach out to hello@kingscrowd.com.

The 18.21 Drinks founders are part of traditionally underrepresented groups in startup investing.

Analysis written by Katy Dolan.

Next Section: Problem


The last ten years have welcomed a host of new beverage categories, with stiff competition among legacy brands and up-and-comers. Carbonated water is increasingly replacing sugary drinks in American households. In fact, sales of sparkling water have doubled over the last ten years.

The sparkling water craze has impacted the alcohol industry, too. White Claw has become synonymous with millennial Saturdays, and even Anheuser-Busch is investing in hard seltzer as beer sales decline. There’s also a growing trend of sobriety. Americans are increasingly declining cocktails, beer, and wine in favor of healthier, lighter beverages. 

At the center of these converging trends is a new player: cannabis-infused beverages. The CBD-enhanced drink market is growing rapidly, with a projected CAGR of 17.8%. Liquid doses of cannabis are just one slice of the booming U.S. CBD market, estimated to hit $23.7 billion by 2023

While the changing winds of beverage preferences can be hard to predict, one thing is clear. Consumers are in the market for new and exciting drinks, preferably ones that are light, healthy, and sophisticated. Legacy soda companies and other big drink brands don’t seem to be pivoting rapidly enough to accommodate these tastes — which new entrants will make the biggest splash?

Next Section: Solution


18.21 Drinks is an umbrella beverage brand that includes bitters and cocktail ingredients, sparkling cocktail mixers, spiked sparkling water beverages, and an upcoming cannabis-infused sparkling line. 18.21 is intentionally tackling several different trends within the consumer beverage space, including high-end cocktail mixers for sophisticated bar drinks, hard seltzers similar to Truly and White Claw, and CBD-infused drinks. 

18.21 was founded in 2014 and has been bootstrapped ever since. The company has generated over $5.5 million in revenue to date, from varying product lines and across both DTC sales and retail accounts. 18.21 products are available at Whole Foods, Total Wine and Spirits, Amazon, and more. The company’s cocktail mixers are also featured at high-end events like Music Midtown, NFL House, and Art Basel. 

18.21 is profitable in addition to its impressive revenue figures. In 2019, the company booked just over $1 million in revenue, and made $44,108 in net income. The previous year was a profitable year as well, with $1.5 million in revenue and over $28,000 in net income.  

18.21 has been selected to participate in the All Rise Factory Cohort by EnrichHER — an accelerator for underrepresented founders — and the Founders First accelerator.

Next Section: Team


18.21 was founded by Missy and Kristin Koefod. Missy, the company’s CEO, was formerly a criminal defense and employment law attorney before pivoting to focus on entrepreneurship with the founding of 18.21. Beyond her law career, Missy has over 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry and is a frequent bar and beverage speaker. Kristin is a serial entrepreneur with successful exits, and is also a hospitality speaker. Her LinkedIn page does not give additional details about her past roles.

Next Section: Other

Growth Plan

18.21 has historically focused on cocktail mixers and spiked seltzers, but the company’s major growth plan for 2020 and beyond is the launch of CNBS, a sub-brand of cannabis-infused sparkling waters. 18.21 reports that its CBD- and THC-infused drinks have “industry-leading stability, clarity, and taste that allows [18.21] to control the effectiveness, look, and flavor of products at scale.” These cannabis drinks are low in sugar and high in flavor. 

Beyond the launch of CNBS, 18.21 is focused on bringing in capital to increase production and fulfill significant retail demand from major nationwide retailers. The company’s bootstrapped status means that 18.21 has not been able to invest significantly in growth (hence current profitability). This capital raise will allow 18.21 to more rapidly expand its brand name and sales presence both in the U.S. and abroad.

Next Section: Why We Like it

Why We Like it

  • Diverse product line, all aligned with various consumer trends: 18.21 is not a spiked seltzer company, and it is not a cannabis beverage company. Instead, 18.21 is a multi-product beverage company focused on several of the latest trends in beverages: high-end cocktail mixers (that seem to serve as sophisticated craft sodas when not mixed with alcohol), cocktail accessories like bitters, spiked seltzers, and cannabis-infused sparkling drinks. The range of 18.21’s product lines diversifies revenue and insulates the company from the risk of one category or another falling out of favor among consumers. Tt also allows the company to forge partnerships with a variety of retailers.

  • Impressive traction and profitability: 18.21 was founded in 2014, and the company has achieved significant traction over the past six years. Earning over $5 million in revenue is a meaningful signal that 18.21 products resonate in the market, particularly given that the company has been entirely bootstrapped with no outside capital up until this point. It is also impressive that 18.21 has achieved profitability. Clearly the company’s customer acquisition costs are relatively low, and/or retail partnerships are working to distribute products efficiently without high marketing spend from company headquarters. This proven performance indicates that 18.21 will generate significant value from crowdfunded capital and is poised for significant growth in the next several years.

Next Section: Rating


18.21 is a unique brand serving a wide variety of consumers’ beverage needs with high capital efficiency. All of this progress has occurred before the company launched its forthcoming cannabis-infused beverages. Given that 18.21 will apply its significant prior learnings to the distribution of this new product line, it is likely to be a success that further bolsters 18.21’s bottom line. 

Arguably, 18.21’s focus on several different beverage verticals at one time is risky for a company of its age. While many of the up-and-coming beverage brands in seltzer, CBD, cocktail mixers, etc. are focused on building a widely-recognizable brand within their niche category, 18.21 is attacking the full range of the beverage market at one time, perhaps leaving each individual product line to suffer without proper attention and growth. Prospective investors should also note that 18.21 generated less revenue in 2019 than it did in 2018, by almost half a million dollars. This decline is not explained on the company’s Republic page, and is worth investigating further. 

Those risks being said, the beverage space is hopping with investment and exit activity, which is promising for 18.21 investors. Venture capital activity in cannabis alone is significant. Legacy beverage brands are snapping up new concepts, exemplified by Anheuser-Busch’s acquisition of SpikedSeltzer in 2016. Any one of 18.21’s product lines is eligible for interest and acquisition from CPG conglomerates or competitors. 

18.21 is a unique consumer concept focusing on serving several varieties of light, sophisticated beverages for the bar or the backyard. The company’s significant traction on bootstrapped capital is impressive, and investors have a good chance of reaping rewards from one of many exit opportunities. Therefore, 18.21 is a Deal to Watch.

Founder Profile

18.21 Drinks Founder Missy Koefod on Passion and Diversity

Consumers’ drinking habits are changing. There’s a growing trend of sobrietyAmericans are increasingly declining cocktails, beer, and wine in favor of healthier, lighter beverages. On top of that, carbonated water is increasingly replacing sugary drinks in American households. In fact, sales of sparkling water have doubled over the last ten years. At the center of these converging trends is a new player: cannabis-infused beverages. The CBD-enhanced drink market is growing rapidly, with a projected CAGR of 17.8%. Liquid doses of cannabis are just one slice of the booming U.S. CBD market, estimated to hit $23.7 billion by 2023.

18.21 Drinks is a startup that’s poised to tap into many of these trends. We recently talked with co-founder Missy Koefod about what inspired her to start the company and where the beverage industry is headed.

Read Founder Interview

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18.21 Drinks on Republic
Platform: Republic
Security Type: SAFE
Valuation: $10,000,000

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