We're excited to announce the completion of our Series A, helping to fuel our vision for the Mike's Hot Honey brand. Please see the official press release below.
New York, November 2017: Mike’s Hot Honey (MHH), the fast-growing Brooklyn based condiment company, announced the completion of a $2M Series A equity financing round today. The equity round was raised on the investment platform CircleUp, where investor Fifth Down Capital led the round.
Inspired by the international travel of Founder Michael Kurtz, MHH quickly attracted a following among local Brooklynites and pizza people who were devoted to drizzling Mike’s original recipe over their pizzas. MHH has become an increasingly popular item at retail and in foodservice not only in New York, but across the country. Early customer adopters like Paulie Gee’s, Whole Foods, Eataly, Murray’s Cheese, Chopt, &Pizza, Sweet Chick, and hundreds of local retailers & tastemaker chefs have allowed the company to nearly double in revenue each year since its founding in 2010.
“Mike's Hot Honey is capitalizing on a few of the most pivotal trends in CPG. Primarily, we’re seeing highly unique, differentiated products growing from relatively narrow markets to more mainstream staples. Mike’s Hot Honey is a great example of a brand on that path," said Chris Pachinger, Director of Business Development at CircleUp. "Many people wouldn’t necessarily say they’re looking for a spice-infused honey, but once they’ve had it, they tend to want it on everything. The unique product and positioning, along with the passion and authenticity of the founders and their vision, made MHH a very compelling opportunity for our marketplace. They partnered with a great investor strategically positioned to help them grow."
Mike’s Hot Honey is a chili-infused honey, made with wildflower honey from local apiaries in New York and infused with chili peppers. Kurtz notes, “A big part of our mission as a company is to help nurture healthier honey production domestically.” With the right ingredients, a unique infusion process, and after hundreds of iterations, Kurtz achieved a perfect balance of ‘sweet & heat’ making MHH an ideal pairing with a wide variety of foods including pizza, chicken, ribs, biscuits, salads, fruits, cheeses, and even ice cream.
With the new growth capital, Mike’s Hot Honey plans to continue to expand its reach as a condiment of choice among chefs, customers, and consumers. “Mike created an exceptional product that has the potential to be the next iconic American condiment” said CEO of Mike’s Hot Honey, Matt Beaton. “With the right people in place, new resources, and smart stewardship of the brand, we know the opportunities for Mike’s Hot Honey are limitless.”
“The breadth of experience of this group stands out from all of the other potential investors we met with along the way, and the quality of the individuals is unrivaled. At the end of the day, it's the people involved that will help our company reach its goals and I couldn't be happier with the team we have built for this next phase” said Kurtz. “For me personally, having the confidence and support of such an experienced group means a great deal.”
ABOUT MIKE’S HOT HONEY:
The origin of Mike’s Hot Honey goes back to 2003, when founder Michael Kurtz was first introduced to the concept of chili pepper-infused honey while living in Brazil. Upon his return to the States in 2004, Mike began experimenting with honey infusions and created his first batch of chili pepper-infused honey which he aptly named Mike’s Hot Honey. He especially enjoyed drizzling the Hot Honey on his favorite food: pizza.
In the summer of 2010, Mike’s passion for pizza brought him to the newly opened Brooklyn pizzeria Paulie Gee’s. While having his first pie from Paulie’s wood-burning oven, Mike met the restaurant’s owner Paul Giannone. Recognizing a shared passion for pizza, Paulie invited Mike in to become a pizza apprentice at the restaurant and later that week Mike began working at Paulie Gee’s learning the art of Neapolitan-inspired pizza-making.
A few weeks into his apprenticeship, Mike brought in a bottle of his Hot Honey for Paulie to try on a pizza. Impressed with the homemade concoction, Paulie asked Mike to make enough Hot Honey for the restaurant to use on top of their pies. Later that week, Mike began making small batches of chili-infused Hot Honey for the pizzeria.
Frequently, while making pizzas at the restaurant, Mike would receive requests from customers for to-go containers of his Hot Honey. Eventually, the demand for Mike’s signature honey grew so great that it was only natural to go into business sharing this special treat with the rest of the world and thus Mike's Hot Honey, Inc. was born.
Today Mike’s Hot Honey services retailers and restaurants in the borough of Brooklyn and beyond with Mike’s original recipe, chili pepper-infused Hot Honey.
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ABOUT FIFTH DOWN CAPTIAL
Since 2009, Fifth Down Capital’s principals have invested in excess of $500MM in a range of private investments including &pizza, Coupang, SpaceX, Planet Labs, Gusto, Tatcha, CircleUp, and Sourcegraph.
CircleUp is the investment platform providing capital and resources to innovative, early-stage consumer brands. CircleUp is comprised of internally-managed funds, an investment marketplace and credit division, which are all powered Helio, its proprietary machine learning platform that evaluates 1.2 million consumer businesses to predict future business success. Founded in 2012, CircleUp is backed by Union Square Ventures, Collaborative Fund, GV, Canaan Partners, QED Advisors, and former leaders of Goldman Sachs, Capital One and Stanford Endowment. Learn more at www.circleup.com.