Organic bottled tea maker Honest Tea has received US$12m in financing from three investors.

Organic food company Stonyfield Farm, private equity firm Inventages Venture Capital Investment and unnamed beverage distributors have invested in the US soft drinks group.

Honest Tea, which had sales of US$13.5m in 2006, said it would use the financing to hire new people, expand distribution, and introduce new products and packages.

The company is launching several new varieties in the first quarter of this year, including Pomegranate White Tea with Açaí and Pomegranate Red Tea with Goji Berry.

"The timing for this infusion is perfect," said Seth Goldman, Honest Tea president and CEO. "We've been enjoying strong growth since we started Honest Tea out of my house in 1998 but we're seeing sales and distribution reach a new level as consumers seek healthier beverages."