After a national distribution contract one-and-a-half years back with Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPS) and a frantic growth rate, Bai Brands has now sold a minority stake to the beverage giant for $15m, as per a statement by Bai CEO Ben Weiss.

Weiss said: "We realized there is a unity behind where consumers are headed, what Bai offers, our ability to continue to expand that offering across various channels in the beverage industry. And I think that innovation is really the bedrock of the investment."

Bai markets still and sparkling Bai5 Antioxidant drinks infused with coffeefruit and sweetened with organic stevia and erythritol. Each 8 ounce serving contains five calories.

Weiss said that Bai’s wholesale revenue, which was strengthened by its distribution across the US, reached $50m in 2014, with retail sales touching over $100m. The company forecasts sales of $125m in 2015.

Attracted by the potential of an equity stake in its allied brand that includes Bai, Body Armor, Vita Coco and Neuro last year, DPS CEO Larry Young however demurred about overinvesting at the time: "Some of those multiples out there are ridiculous… we love all these young entrepreneurs, but they want to be the next Glaceau."

The market capitalisation of DPS stands at $15bn.

Weiss stated: "For me, spending two days with Young and his senior management team… was really a game-changer. Two days of really understanding not where Bai is today, but where it was over the last five years, and, most importantly, where it’s going over the next five years, it just makes sense. We need their services to get there, and they need our services to a brand like Bai that has the ability to reach the millennial mouth."