US-based energy drink start-up Lucky F*ck is aiming to “move quickly” through its domestic market following a seed investment.

The low-calorie caffeinated beverage producer received $4m in seed funding from Imaginary Ventures – a venture capital firm with other drinks brands like Cann and Dirty Lemon in its portfolio.

Founded in August by Richard Laver, who previously established plant-based infant formula company Kate Farms in 2012, Lucky F*ck stated it would use the funding “to accelerate its growth across Texas and California, increase production” and grow its team.

Speaking to Just Drinks, Laver discussed how his experience with Kate Farms made him want to “do everything six months earlier” with his energy drinks brand.

“What I wanted to do is make sure that we had the capital ready – and future capital in the spring that’s going to be coming up – that would allow me to get the best talent in the world quickly where I think I waited at my last company, maybe two years to do that,” he said.

“The first 15 to 20 decisions the founder or CEO makes in regard to distribution, headcount, the type of talent that you want – those decisions determine down the road how much velocity a company gathers in the US and so I really want to add talent early right now.

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“Then of course, in distribution, we didn’t want to go national – I think that that’s a mistake, in the beginning.”

The founder added he wanted to accelerate through California and Texas, where Lucky F*ck is available, stopping at Florida and Mississippi. He believed the brand “would be national this time next year”.

Laver also said he is actively planning the next round of funding but did not disclose the capital target. He said it would be “significant”.

The eight-person strong team now “will reach 25” by February, Laver stated.

Lucky F*ck makes five variations in 568ml cans: OG Luck, Tropical Thrill, Bodacious Berry, Orange Drizzle and Red Ryder Punch. Each can contains five calories and 200mg of caffeine, among other better-for-you ingredients like ginseng and taurine.

However, Laver told Just Drinks he is yet to release two variations, which he is holding “for the big retailers”.

Heimark Distributing, part of the “Anheuser-Busch Distributor” network, will exclusively distribute Lucky F*ck throughout the California region. Its CEO, Peter Heimark, will join the brand’s advisory board.

Logan Langberg, partner at Imaginary Ventures, will also join the board of directors.

When asked about the company’s focus on functional ingredients and being ‘clean-label’, Laver said that “the consumer has changed”.

“It used to be that you could sell 50 or 60 grams of sugar in products and now they want to have virtually zero sugar. They want there to be fewer ingredients, and cleaner. And they also want to be taught, they want to be inspired.

“I think what we’re going to see in the future is a little bit more storytelling, a little bit more brands that are connecting to people’s everyday life, and how they might need energy drinks. We’re going to continue seeing a push with zero sugar.

“The bottom line is the great companies of the future are going to have to do all those components incredibly well. You’re just not going to be able to put a drink on a shelf and create a $20m company anymore,” Laver stated.