Buoy, a consumer products brand that makes and markets hydration drops and was born in WashU Olin’s Hatchery business plan course, has closed a $2.5 million seed round that includes 50 angel investors—including Chris Paul, star point guard for the NBA’s Phoenix Suns.
“This wasn’t easy. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” said Daniel Schindler, CEO of Buoy, who began the business while he was an Olin student when it was called BetterTomorrow. Schindler announced the closing of the funding round in an email on May 2.
“We wouldn’t have gotten here without the help and support of so many people,” he said. Schindler, MBA 2019, thanked his older brother, Jordan Schindler, for guiding the company as a mentor in fundraising and networking. He also credited Craig Frischling and Kit McQuiston, the startup’s lead contacts at the New York Angel’s group, who Schindler said spent three months doing due diligence and connected his team with other investors on their behalf.
Buoy has developed a line of flavorless liquid supplements that can be added to any drink to foster hydration and overall health by helping people retain water.
In a 2022 company recap Schindler distributed in January, he said Buoy Energy Drops were available at all 936 CVS HealthHUB locations in new and improved retail packaging, and that the brand was available in about 3,500 CVS stores. Meanwhile, in 3,400 Walgreens stores, the company’s hydration drops and immunity drops became available in new retail packaging nationwide and on Walgreens.com.
For the calendar year, Buoy said it had $640,840 in revenue, with $251,000 from retail locations, $239,000 through Amazon, $81,000 in direct-to-consumer sales through its website and another $69,000 in business-to-business sales.
“Thank you to all our investors for your belief and support,” Schindler said in an email announcing the funding round. “What a journey it’s been, and we’ve only just begun.”