Oakberry receives $67 million investment for growth | Franchise Mergers and Acquisitions
Brazilian acai concept Oakberry kicked 2024 off with plans for U.S. expansion following a $67 million investment through its partner BTG Pactual. A Series C fund, the cash will go toward continued global growth, especially in the United States.
BTG has been a long-term partner with Oakberry, contributing to its Series B investment in 2021. The newest investment came as a bit of a surprise, said Leandro Gasparin, head of business in North America since 2023. The brand wasn’t actively seeking capital in 2023, but its partners wanted to help Oakberry take on a more aggressive approach to expansion. BTG presented Oakberry with the investment, and the franchisor accepted the opportunity.
“It came at the right opportunity from someone who has a strong belief in our brand,” said Gasparin. “There was a lot of alignment in the plans and what we expect for the future and we thought it was the right time.”
The Series C investment will continue to improve efficiency, as the brand will expand its factory to accommodate increased demand. As part of an impact fund, an aspect of the investment will also focus on environmental sustainability, head of global marketing Bruno Cardinali added.
“I was super excited to join Oakberry after seeing what they accomplished so far,” said Gasparin. “I’m even more excited to see what the future holds for us.”
Founded in 2016 by CEO Georgios Frangulis, Oakberry has 700 locations across 40 countries. The brand has 35 stores open in the U.S. The brand is all about acai, including bowls, smoothies, juice and snack bars. The brand opened 150 locations in 2023, nearly a fifth of total locations open.
Empty markets with high demand are everywhere, said Gasparin, and Oakberry plans to takes advantage. The company is discussing multi-unit deals with “sophisticated and great operators” to bring the brand to new markets, Gasparin said. In established markets, Oakberry will continue to expand its footprint, particularly in Southern California, Florida and Manhattan.
Oakberry is opening corporate stores in new markets, including countries such as Australia and Portugal. Gasparin wants to see the U.S. market double to 70 locations by the end this year and 200 by the end of 2026.
“Oakberry is way more than just acai,” said Cardinali. “It’s a lifestyle brand that really resonates with people across many countries.”