- Friends Wynter Karo and Alice Parmiter start making tequila cocktails in their kitchen at home.
- They registered their tequila brand, Pimantae, while working full time in 2021.
- They decided to look for angel investors and used a pitch deck they created on Canva.
Friends Wynter Karo and Alice Parmiter returned to the UK after a trip to Mexico in 2020 with an idea for a tequila business.
Two years later, after scaling their startup alongside full-time jobs, the pair closed an oversubscribed £545,000 (about $675,000) pre-seed round led by Distill the companies.
In August 2020, the friends told Insider they couldn’t help but think that low-quality tequila shots – the most common way to drink tequila in the UK – let cocktails down. Well crafted tequila they had had in Mexico. .
The two began experimenting at home to create their own pre-mixed tequila cocktail – a spicy margarita.
At the time, Karo worked as a proposal manager at Sky and Parmiter worked in marketing at ASOS. While continuing their full-time duties, they enrolled Spices with Companies House and immediately began saving money to invest in creating a high-end tequila cocktail.
Between them they’ve managed to save £12,000 by March 2021. That money has been spent on developing their first 1,400 bottles, designing websites, buying ingredients, consulting… a house of flavors and exams for personal qualifications and business licenses, according to the pair.
They officially launched the brand with an influencer campaign
“We custom-created 50 aesthetic baskets so that when influencers receive them, they can’t help but post,” Karo said.
In March 2021, they hand-delivered the gift baskets across London to influencers like Conor Maynard, Maya JamaAnd Grace Beverly. They didn’t ask recipients to share their Pimentae baskets, but according to the founders, each influencer posted organically.
Within a month, Karo and Parmiter said their launch campaign had exceeded 500 sales amounting to £13,000. “It really put us on the map,” Karo told Insider.
Using that money and £7,000 in additional sales from their online store and trade shows, they planned to get a pitch and create an immersive event at Big party – a British food festival – in August.
“We put it all on the line,” Karo said. “We emptied the company’s bank account and had to put half the presentation fee on our Amex.”
Both quit their full-time jobs to focus on the brand.
“We knew that if we could sell the right amount of cash, we could double our listing fees and have enough revenue to start our business for another four to five months,” Karo said.
At the festival, they refunded their full presentation fee plus £20,000 in additional revenue
While the summer may be winding down, the pair still needed more capital to keep the brand going, so they started looking for fundraising options. They considered crowdfunding and venture capital as funding options, but decided to approach angel investors.
“We needed the experience and wealth of knowledge that angel investors would provide,” Karo recalls.
At first, they tried cold-contacting people on LinkedIn and online platforms, but were unsuccessful. But at a pitch event at Brown Rudnick in May 2022, the brand won the most investable brand and best pitch deck, receiving 20 hours of free legal advice as prize money.
One of the judges at the event decided to become an angel investor for Pimentae. With their first investor locked in, other investors began to show interest.
Distill Ventures, an independent beverage accelerator, reached out in September 2022 and agreed to become the lead investor, Karo said.
They closed their pre-seed round in September 2022 after raising £545,000, or around $675,000, between 13 angel investors and Distill Ventures – far exceeding their initial target of £250,000.
Here’s the pitch deck they used to do it.