Taste Radio Insider Episode 57

This VC Firm Invests In Brands So They Can ‘Slow Down’

+ Shilen Patel, Distill Ventures

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In this episode, we feature an interview with Shilen Patel, the co-founder of Distill Ventures (DV), a U.K.-based venture capital firm and accelerator that invests in disruptive distilled spirit companies and non-alcoholic beverage brands. 

Launched in 2013, DV is backed by Diageo, the global spirits conglomerate whose portfolio includes iconic brands like Johnnie Walker and Bulleit Bourbon. Over the past six years, DV has invested approximately $80 million in over 15 small and early-stage brands, including Westward American Single Malt whiskey and non-alcoholic spirit Seedlip. 

As part of our conversation, Patel discussed DV’s mission and relationship with Diageo, why he’s bullish about the future of low- and no-alcohol adult beverages, and why quality is of paramount importance to DV’s investment philosophy.

In this Episode

1:15: An Ode To Press Your Luck, Kelp Jerky, #GGMU — The episode’s hosts convened for a conversation about Ray’s former dream job (note: he’s living the current one), why Jay-Z might be at Taste Radio Live and why John is not a fan of plant-based snack brands that describe their products as “jerky.” They also discussed Carol’s recent trips to Denver and New Orleans, and a fabulous new product that celebrates the greatest Premier League team of all time. 
16:55: Interview: Shilen Patel, Co-Founder, Distill Ventures — Patel met with BevNET’s John Craven and Mike Schneider in London and spoke about the formation of DV and why he believes that investing is brands is about “going slower to get faster.” He also discussed why DV has an “entrepreneur first” mindset, the diverse reasons behind consumers’ increasing interest in non-alcoholic adult beverages and why those products have to be “equal to or better” than a consumer’s favorite alcoholic drink for them to be successful. He also shared his perspective on the growth opportunity for non-alcoholic adult beverages, his greatest fear for the segment and DV’s criteria for funding new concepts.

Also Mentioned

D’Usse, Zuma Valley, Akua, The Mushroom Benefit, Solely Jerky, Enjoy Life, Minor Figures, Big Easy Bucha, Chivas Regal, Johnnie Walker, Bulleit Bourbon, Seedlip, Westward Whiskey, Starward Whiskey, Stauning Whiskey

2019-10-28T10:26:22+00:00