UK soft-drinks brand Living Things has raised £500,000 ($638,247) in capital through a funding round led by former BrewDog CEO James Watt.

Living Things, a functional and soft-drink soda brand, has raised the money in a pre-seed round to expand its distribution in the UK and start exporting into EU markets.

The company said it has sold more than 100,000 cans during its first six months of trading. Stockists include Amazon and independent retailers.

Living Things, founded in last year by Ben Vear and Jonathan Relph, has forecast a sales “run-rate” of above £1m by the end of 2024.  

Its range includes soda beverages with flavours such as Lemon & Ginger and Peach & Blood Orange. The company makes prebiotic and probiotic health claims on the products.

“Demand for Living Things has been well beyond our early expectations, and securing support from James Watt is real validation of our team, product and brand and will help navigate our next phase of growth,” Living Things co-founder Ben Veal said.

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Whole Foods Market is set to stock Living Things in the UK from next month. Living Things said “milestones in the pipeline” include “further prominent grocery retail listings in autumn” in the UK, plus “expansion into Europe”.

Watt said: “The soda category is ripe for disruption and I believe that sodas that are significantly better for you than the incumbents are going to lead that charge.

“The Living Things brand and product are both incredible, the business is led by two fantastic entrepreneurs in Ben and Jonathan. I can’t wait to use my experience in drinks to help them scale this rapidly-growing business whilst having a positive impact on people’s health and wellbeing.”

The BrewDog co-founder stepped down from the role of CEO at the brewer last month after 17 years at the helm. He was succeeded by James Arrow, who joined BrewDog in September as COO.

Watt’s development of BrewDog and tenure as CEO saw the company export to 60 markets and set up on-premise outlets in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia.