Food & Beverage

Former creative director for Netflix puts water in a can, calls it punk and raises $1.6 million in funding

Key Points
  • Liquid Death, a canned water start-up, raised $1.6 million in seed funding.
  • The company said it is trying to take down bottled water by marketing itself as sustainable alternative to energy drinks and soda. 
  • Liquid Death's co-founder and CEO Mike Cessario was the creative director for campaigns for hit Netflix shows like Stranger Things, Narcos and House of Cards.
Source: Liquid Death

Canned water brand Liquid Death claims to have a punk sensibility, but it's unlikely to scream "anarchy." Capitalism might be more appropriate.

The start-up just raised $1.6 million in seed funding, thanks to its marketing expertise. From its name to the melted skull on the front of the can, Liquid Death sells itself as the punk option for bottled water drinkers, saying it will "murder your thirst."

"We started Liquid Death with the diabolical plan to completely obliterate bottled water marketing cliches by taking the world's healthiest beverage and making it just as funny and stupid and entertaining as the unhealthy brands across energy drinks, soda and beer," the company says on its website.

Liquid Death's co-founder and CEO Mike Cessario previously worked as the creative director for viral marketing campaigns for hit Netflix shows like "Stranger Things," "Narcos" and "House of Cards."

Cessario told Business Insider that the brand was inspired by his days playing in a punk rock band. He said he wanted to appeal to the straight-edge punk crowd, which abstains from drugs and alcohol.

Liquid Death is also trying to appeal to consumers' concerns about sustainability and plastic waste. Plastic bottles have long been an issue for beverage giants like Coca-Cola and PepsiCo.

Its water cans are currently only available online. A 16.9-ounce can — the same size as a tallboy beer — costs $1.83, including delivery costs. The company said that it donates 5 cents from every can sold to help clean up plastic garbage in the ocean.

The funding round was led by early-stage venture firm Science Inc., which has investments in companies like the Dollar Shave Club and dog-walking app Rover. Other big name investors include Biz Stone, the co-founder of Twitter, and Jen Rubio, the co-founder of suitcase-maker Away. Liquid Death has raised $2.25 million so far.

How to pick between savings and money market accounts
How to pick between savings and money market accounts