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The Source takes stake in three promising Belgian start-ups

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Spadel’s venture capital fund moves up a gear with 3 new investments in 2023. These fit perfectly with the fund’s objective of acquiring stakes in promising start-ups in the hydration sector and helping them to grow through strategic and financial support. Meet Dripl, Qallo and The Mocktail Club.

Dripl

Founded in 2020 by Colin Deblonde and Lucas Moreau, Dripl offers companies a healthier, more sustainable alternative to traditional sodas thanks to a dispenser that produces natural, low-calorie, low-sugar sodas on site, without disposable packaging.

Dripl’s dispensers, named “Refill Points”, are simple to operate: place your glass or bottle under the tap, select one of the flavours on offer, choose your flavour intensity and add sparkling if you wish. The dispenser then prepares the drink by mixing filtered tap water with the options chosen by the user.

What convinced The Source to invest in Dripl was, of course, its growth potential given customers’ sustainability awareness rising, but also a shared vision of offering healthy and natural drinks.

“Dripl’s philosophy is perfectly in line with that of the Spadel Group”, explains Clément Yvorra, Global Business Development Manager at Spadel, who believes that the alliance between Spadel and Dripl will be beneficial to both parties. “On the one hand, we can help Dripl to grow faster thanks to our knowledge of the drinks market. On the other hand, Dripl’s expertise will be of great benefit to Spadel, particularly in the corporate market and in the field of beverage machines.”

Qallo

Earlier in 2023, The Source took a minority stake in Qallo, founded by Alexander Van Laer, Moos Tits and Niels Peetermans. Three Antwerp-based entrepreneurs who had already made a name for themselves a few years ago with the launch of the successful car-sharing service Poppy.

With Qallo, they offer an innovative powdered energizer based on plant extracts and B vitamins to promote concentration and energy. Consumers then mix the powdered solution with water into a refreshing energizer.

Thanks to their energizing properties, Qallo’s products are low-sugar and more sustainable alternatives to traditional energy drinks.

“We are delighted to support Qallo in its journey to become a European leader in the functional drinks market. This investment is a strategic bet in a market that is expected to grow enormously in the coming years and in which we want to position ourselves early,” says Clément Yvorra, Global Business Development Manager at Spadel.

The Mocktail Club

The Source’s most recent investment is in The Mocktail Club, founded by the sisters Marie and Kaat Claessens, a company specialised in the segment of alcohol-free cocktails, called mocktails.

Mocktails are a growing segment. According to the recently published IWSR study, the worldwide market for alcohol-free ‘ready-to-drink’ segment will grow with 14% each year until 2025. More and more consumers are looking for healthy and tasty alternatives to alcoholic beverages, as they or do not drink alcohol at all, or wish to reduce their alcohol consumption without losing the enjoyment of a cocktail.

Why did we believe in this company’s potential? We were firstly charmed by the entrepreneurial spirit the two sisters possess but above all, we were convinced of their products’ quality. They are tasty, natural, innovative, and perfectly match our group’s DNA.

Andy

Back in 2021 The Source made its first investment in Contaynor, later rebranded to Andy. Through electric vans, the service delivered beverages and other groceries at home or office.

Andy had a promising start and its eco-friendly drink delivery service clearly met a need in the market. However, we know that the first few years are often difficult for a business. Andy was a scale model that needed investors to finance growth and the way to profitability. Unfortunately, challenging market conditions made it more and more difficult to support this growth recently. As a result Andy had to stop its activities in 2023.

We are obviously sorry that things ended this way for Andy. But it does not undermine the objective of The Source. We look forward to accompanying these three promising start-ups in their journey and will continue scouting for new opportunities to create positive impact.

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