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Lyre’s latest fundraising round values company at $500 million

Alcohol-free spirits maker Lyre’s is now worth $500 million after a fresh funding round was completed which included investment from an early investor in Alibaba and SpaceX. 

Lyre’s – which has just launched an alcohol-free sparkling wine in Australia – is riding a wave of popularity for alcohol-free versions of spirits, cocktails, wines and beers. The company now produces gin, whisky, rum and bourbon.

The alcohol-free beverage trend is being driven by consumers wanting to moderate their alcohol intake more than those wanting to eliminate alcohol from their diets altogether, according to Queensland-based co-founder Carl Hartmann. Dan Murphy’s parent Endeavour Group, reports that sales of no-alcohol alternative liquor have risen by 500 per cent during the past year. 

The latest funding round drew $37 million from Morgan Creek Capital Management – the Alibaba and SpaceX investor – along with D Squared Capital and several European venture-capital firms. 

The two-year-old company has had a rapid rise, achieving distribution in more than 60 countries already and being selected by British Airways for serving inflight. 

Hartmann told the AFR about 25 per cent of its sales come from Australia and similar amounts in western Europe and the US, and sales are expected to reach around $90 million this year. 

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