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Yaala Sparkling makes a splash with $125k Shark Tank deal

Yaala Sparkling makes a splash with $125k Shark Tank deal
(Source: Supplied)

Indigenous-owned beverage brand Yaala Sparkling has landed a $125,000 deal from Shark Tank’s resident “shark” investor, Dr Catriona Wallace. 

Shark Tank is a television show presenting entrepreneurs to a panel of five venture capitalists called “sharks” on the program, who decide whether to invest in the company. 

The Brisbane-based company said the funding would help scale the company’s production and expand the business nationwide. 

Launched early this year by Tara Croker, Yaala, which means “the present moment” in the Wiradjuri language, produces alcohol-free sparkling drinks using native ingredients.

The beverage is available in Lemon Myrtle and Native Blossom, and Davidson Plum and Waratah. 

Wallace said her reason for investing in the brand is that the business and product fill an unmet need in the soft drink industry. 

“Indigenous-inspired and Australian native plant-flavoured sparkling water will be hugely successful in Australia and internationally,” she continued.

“I have worked with many Indigenous-led businesses and am thrilled to be teaming up with Mel and Tara to bring this business to scale.”

Commenting on the deal, Croker said the investment and Wallace’s knowledge and experience would be valuable in taking the business to its next growth stage. 

“The rapidly growing native foods and botanicals industry is thought to be worth up to $50 million a year, and yet less than 2 per cent of businesses in the native food sector are Indigenous-owned,” remarked Croker.

“Any business using native plants and knowledge passed down over generations must preserve traditional knowledge and invest back into the community.”

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