Berlin – SMP advised the French investor Five Seasons Ventures on the Series A financing round of Air up. In addition to new investors Five Seasons Ventures and US-beverage company PepsiCo, the Munich-based media company Ippen.Media and existing investors participated in the round with a total volume of 18 million euros. Previously, Air up had already convinced two renowned investors, Ralf Dümmel and Frank Thelen, among others. The company says that it plans to use the fresh capital to enter the market in other European countries. In addition, Air up intends to expand its flavor range, develop new drinking systems, and make its products as well as production and supply chains even more sustainable. Five Seasons Ventures received comprehensive legal advice from a team led by SMP partners Frederik Gärtner and Benjamin Ullrich together with Jonas Huth. The French VC already relied on SMP's advisory expertise on several investments last year.
"Sustainability, regionality, transparency or plant-based nutrition – the preferences of younger consumers in particular with regard to nutrition have recently changed significantly and thus have been the catalyst for massive changes in the food industry for years. Innovative companies that serve these new needs show great growth potential for the future," says Frederik Gärtner. "Air up is one of these companies and has even been ranked among the 25 fastest growing startups in Germany in 2020. We are very pleased that SMP was able to provide legal support to Five Seasons Ventures once again in connection with this exciting investment," adds Benjamin Ullrich.
Five Seasons Ventures
Five Seasons Ventures is a French venture capitalist based in Paris. With its aim of becoming the leading foodtech VC in Europe, the investment focus is on innovative technology companies along the entire food value chain. In the course of Series A and Series B financing rounds, Five Seasons Ventures invests between two and four million euros initially. In addition to offering capital, the VC also provides extensive technology and food expertise as well as a large network with a wide range of industry contacts. Five Seasons Ventures' portfolio companies include YFood Labs, Just Spices or Yamo, among others.
Munich-based startup Air up offers a refillable drinking bottle that adds flavor to tap water through scent only. With the help of an adapter and matching scent pods, the water is flavored without the addition of sugar. Air bubbles in the water carry the scent to the olfactory center, which is then interpreted by the brain as taste. Air up currently sells its bottles via retailers and its own online shop in Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. The UK and Switzerland are to be added soon. The company was founded in 2019 by Tim Jäger, Lena Jüngst, Fabian Schlang, Simon Nüesch and Jannis Koppitz and currently employs around 80 people.
SMP is a boutique law firm for tax and business law which is active in the core fields of Tax, Funds, Corporate, Litigation and Transactions. The attorneys and tax specialists at SMP represent a broad client base, which ranges from emerging technology companies and family-run SMEs to large corporations as well as private equity and venture capital funds. Founded in 2017, SMP has become one of the leading players for venture capital, private equity and fund structuring in Germany. The firm and its partners have been recognized nationally and internationally by JUVE, Best Lawyers, Legal 500, Focus and Chambers and Partners. Today, SMP has more than 50 experienced lawyers and tax specialists in three Offices in Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne.
Advisors Five Seasons Ventures: SMP
Dr. Frederik Gärtner (Lead/Corporate), Associated Partner
Dr. Benjamin Ullrich (Lead/Corporate), Partner
Jonas Huth (Corporate), Associate