Johnny Sexton invests in drinks business DASH

DASH Water aims to expand operations across Ireland, Europe, as well as growing its Australian business.

Irish rugby captain Johnny Sexton has emerged as one of the investors who took part in a €9.8m seed funding investment into DASH, the zero-sugar, zero-calorie seltzer business.

The round was led by transatlantic investors Beringea, which has previously backed Monica Vinader, Lucky Saint, and Papier.

“I’m excited to be a part of its journey to fight food waste, bringing it to more stores across Ireland – the Irish love it already!”

As well as Sexton, new investors in the business include and David Milner, DASH’s chair and former CEO of F&B titans Tyrells, Lily’s Kitchen, and St Pierre Bakery, as well as the founders of Sipsmiths, Beavertown, and former Manchester United footballer Patrice Evra.

Cutting a DASH

DASH’s rapid growth has kept pace with market leaders in recent years – the company has demonstrated a 3-year CAGR of 94%.

​​Notable moments from the past year include a highly successful viral marketing campaign, where a wonky aubergine advert was banned from the London Underground by the TFL. The campaign reached over 3m people across social media in under two days.

DASH has gained a loyal following among health-conscious consumers, including high-profile names such as David and Victoria Beckham, and Vogue Williams who are looking for tasty, sustainable alternatives to traditional sugary sodas. The company’s unique flavours, such as cucumber, peach, and mango, have helped them stand out in a crowded marketplace. DASH uses high-quality, natural ingredients in all of its drinks, sourced from local farms.

Listed in more than 10,000 stores globally, B-Corp certified DASH currently leads the UK seltzer category with a 39% share of value sales and is aiming to take the Irish market by storm. Its products are listed across independent shops in Ireland such as DonnyBrook Fair, and in offices like Microsoft, TikTok and Linkedin.

“Our cans are flying off the shelves in Ireland, it’s incredible,” said DASH co-founder Alex Wright.

“Stocked in offices and independent shops alone, we sold a quarter of a million cans last year and this latest investment will give us the firepower we need to change the way people look at soft drinks for good. We’re delighted to have Johnny on board to help grow the brand in Ireland and raise awareness about the issue of food waste. Health and sustainability have never been more important in Ireland, so we’re excited to see what the future holds.”

The funding will be used to support DASH’s growth and expansion plans, including increasing production and distribution, and investing in research and development. DASH also plans to expand into new markets across Europe, and to increase its presence in Australia, where it has a growing market share.

Commenting on the new business venture, Johnny Sexton said: “I always have a fridge stocked full of DASH, they make drinking healthy so easy and uncompromising on taste. I’m excited to be a part of its journey to fight food waste, bringing it to more stores across Ireland – the Irish love it already!”

John Kennedy
Award-winning editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.