New Plymouth based startup Sol+Sea has presented its reef and ocean friendly performance skincare brand to a virtual room of investors in a bid to raise capital and take its business to the next level.

The investor showcase was the culmination of a three-month BOOST programme, where Sol+Sea founder Glen Stephens learnt how to create a robust capital raise strategy, led by Hamilton-based business growth ecosystem, Soda.

Stephens was mentored and guided by experienced entrepreneur and former Ceres Organics director Kate O'Leary and the BOOST programme was supported by Deloitte and Tompkins Wake who offered their expert financial and legal advice throughout a series of capital raise workshops.

“Completing Soda’s BOOST programme has enabled us to focus on our five-year financial and strategic plan. We now have a clear direction on our one-to-three-year revenue forecast, channel and growth strategy, cashflow forecast, IP, company valuation methodology and exit strategy,” says Sol+Sea founder, Glen Stephens.

Equipped with the right support and strategy, Stephens is now keen to gain expressions of interest and find the right investment partner to help Sol+Sea grow.

“Glen Stephens has created a brand that has the potential to grow a cult following - not only are the products amazing but the brand DNA inspires conscious adventuring, which is a trend that is not going away. Soda’s BOOST programme has enabled Glen to nail the growth capital needs of Sol+Sea, and it was a pleasure helping him focus on this side of business. It’s very exciting to see that he has investor interest already in the brand,” says mentor Kate O’Leary.

Sol+Sea’s natural range of environmentally friendly skincare, sun care and body care products is already available in New Zealand where the skincare market is worth $350 million a year, and Stephens has ambitious plans to expand globally in 2023.

It’s been a big year for Sol+Sea which was awarded a Callaghan Innovation grant, won Venture Taranaki’s Powerup competition, launched during lockdown and signed a contract with some of New Zealand’s biggest retailers, such as Torpedo 7, to sell its products.

“We love supporting innovative New Zealand businesses like Sol+Sea. It’s been rewarding to be part Glen’s journey from Power Up through to launching during the pandemic and guiding him through Soda’s BOOST programme. Sol+Sea has made extraordinary progress this year and we wish Glen all the best on his capital raise journey,” says Erin Wansbrough, Soda Chief Executive.

“Glen was one of three business founders to participate in our BOOST programme. We’ve had positive feedback from founders and investors and are excited about helping more Kiwi founders prepare to raise capital in our 2022 BOOST programme,” concludes Wansbrough.