82. Vivid Drinks

The healthy drinks start-up capitalising on the rising UK matcha movement to become the “smarter person’s Red Bull”

Founder: James Shillcock
Founded: January 2013 (launched September 2013)
Website: vividdrinks.com

Thanks to the juicing generation, matcha – an ancient-old tea drink said to have numerous health benefits and a steady three hour caffeine release – is rapidly gaining a cult-like status, with celebrity health trendsetter Gwyneth Paltrow, New York Fashion Week (matcha shots were ‘the it beverage’ among fashionistas) and coffee-tea heavyweight Starbucks all advocating the new tea. On the very cusp of this trend, resourceful entrepreneur James Shillcock spotted a potentially lucrative business opportunity and decided he wanted a piece of the rising market.

Launched in 2013 after securing £100,000 investment, the young founder’s drinks start-up – which contains real matcha mixed with a variety of fresh flavours – had over 250,000 new customers in its first year and secured an impressive stocklist featuring over 300 retailers including Waitrose, Boots and Holland & Barrett.

The 27 year-old entrepreneur has big business ideas for 2015; in January he launched the UK’s first ever matcha bar in London’s Soho, collaborating with 2013’s Startups 100 member Lily Vanilli to supply matcha-infused treats alongside teas, coffees and alcoholic beverages all with the super ingredient. And with more matcha-themed events, two new product launches and another food and beverage business in the works, it looks set to be a very busy year for the burgeoning brand.   

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