Svalbarði - Join our journey

SEEKING: NOK 4mn - 10mn

approximately:

€400k - €1mn

$440k - $1,1mn

*Separate option available for much more ambitious NOK 45mn / €4,5mn / $5mn plan. Inquire for details.

Equity Offered: 12,5% - 26,5%
Equity type: Ordinary shares for investments NOK 500k or larger, Non-Voting for investments under NOK 500k
Price per share: NOK 140
Valuation: NOK 28mn pre-money
Minimum investment: NOK 100 thousand

Why is Svalbarði seeking capital?
  • Completed proof of concept phase, built physical plant and brand, but little cash for true commercialization
  • Path to profitability needs funds for 1) sales & marketing, 2) introduce small bottle, and 3) opex for two year runway

Why invest in Svalbarði?
  • Unique chance to lead creation of new $6bn market
  • Help save the Arctic by stopping CO2 with every bottle
  • First mover advantage as 1st brand with all needed traits
  • Solid business model in operation, initial hiccups solved
  • Strong traction with big media coverage, solid test sales
  • Experienced team in marketing, logistics, environment
100% READY AND TESTED PRODUCT WITH ALL TRAITS NECESSARY TO CREATE NEW MASS-MARKET LUXURY WATER SEGMENT WHILE HELPING SAVE THE ARCTIC

What is Svalbarði Polar Iceberg Water?

  • The Product  
  • The Source  
  • The Origin Story  
  • Taste & Testimonials

Svalbarði Polar Iceberg Water is an award-winning luxury bottled water brand and the world's northernmost bottled water. Beautifully packaged to reflect its origin story, Svalbarði has won 14 international design and taste awards. High clarity extra-flint glass is reflective of the iceberg source. The blue-green band at the neck reflects the glacier face where ancient glaciers calve off newborn icebergs to the sea. The wood cap from sustainable forests evokes precious arctic driftwood that lines the shores of the polar region.

750 ml bottle of Svalbardi next to gift tube

At present we offer still water in a 750ml glass bottle with wood cap for €80 per bottle (e-commerce retail price). We eventually plan to introduce a 330ml bottle. We are served at numerous top dining establishments around the world, including several locations where Svalbarði is the peak offering on curated water menus. These include two Michelin star rated Restaurant AOC in Copenhagen, home of America's most famous water menu Patina Downtown Los Angeles, and the TripAdvisor #2 restaurant in America Victoria & Albert's in Florida. We stand on par with and distinct from other premium beverages in fine restaurants and other settings. 

Svalbardi being poured into elegant glassware at Boucheron event


Svalbarði is a gourmet dining product in the fine waters category. We are members of the international Fine Water Society, helping to build consumer understanding that "water is not just water" and that it has unique characteristics derived from varied natural sources. Svalbarði has a light as air taste and velvety smooth texture in the mouth. It pairs particularly well with light and delicate foods such as fish and sushi. And due to its near total lack of minerals serves as an excellent palate cleanser that will not leave an aftertaste between courses.


Restauranteur Christian Aarø holding bottle of Svalbard at Restaurant AOC in Copenhagen Denmark

The source is icebergs up to 4000 years old freshly calved into the fjords around the Svalbard islands at 79° north, just over 1000 kilometres from the North Pole. The ice has been preserved inside the center of the glacier until being released into the sea and requires no chemical treatment. It has the fresh taste of snow in air that fell before modern pollution. Our first edition was gathered from the Kongsfjorden region on the northwest side of Svalbard. Our recent special Dark Season Edition was gathered during the 24/7 polar night in late-2018 and came from the Isfjorden region in west-central Svalbard.

Ulla Rinman gathering icebergs in sea


We undertake expeditions which can range from 1 to 7 days in our specially chartered gathering vessel, the M/S Ulla Rinman. Iceberg pieces are individually selected to ensure they contain the ancient snow that has been preserved inside the center of the glacier before they calved into the sea. One by one they are inspected and, if approved, lifted into bins on deck for transport back to Longyearbyen. There they are kept frozen until time for bottling, at which point they are gently melted.

Globe showing Svalbard at top of world with iceberg image in faded background

The medieval sagas tell of Scandinavian explorers pushing the boundaries of the known world. Heading north they reported seeing "Svalbarði" or "Cold Coasts" covered in ice. Even for a people who settled in Greenland, these lands were too harsh and were left alone until they passed into rumour and legend.


Mountains of Svalbard with clouds rolling across top of them seen from sea


Today Svalbard is one of Europe's last great wildernesses, inhabited by more polar bears than people. Located between 74° and 81° north latitude, these islands sit halfway between the top of Europe and the North Pole. Roughly the size of Sri Lanka, they are 60% covered by glaciers. Climate records going back more than a century have made it one of the world's most important centres of global warming research.


Stylized satellite image showing Svalbard, Barents Sea, and top of mainland Norway


Svalbarði Polar Iceberg Water began with a dream to see the Arctic. Of Norwegian heritage, founder Jamal Qureshi's family lived in mainland Norway from 2009 to 2014. In 2013, he found himself alone for a month and decided to fulfill a wish to tour the far north. Traveling light, he visited towns as far as the Russian border, eventually Hiking to Knivskjellodden, the northernmost point of continental Europe. Looking north into the Barents Sea, he knew he had one more place to go.


3 images with Svalbardi founder Jamal Qureshi  holding onto sailboat in strong winds, bright blue iceberg, and Jamal Qureshi on boat pointing into distance


Days later, he flew into the Arctic outpost of Longyearbyen in Svalbard. That first visit captivated him. Hiking across a glacier, he asked if the meltwater was safe to drink. Growing up camping in Colorado's Rocky Mountains, he remembered being told even apparently clean water could harbour bacteria and pollutants. But this was clean at the source, with a delightful taste. As a personal gift for his wife, he gathered a little and brought it home to make a cup of her favourite herbal tea. That set in motion the chain of events which created Svalbarði.


Glacier in Svalbard seen from the sea


A year later, with an experienced Arctic captain and a close friend, he spent a week sailing the northwest coast of Svalbard. They searched iceberg-filled fjords for the right types of ice. Pulling up alongside icebergs in a small dinghy, a metre-long glaciologists' core drill was used to extract samples. Returning to Longyearbyen, 88 kilos of samples were airfreighted to a laboratory on the mainland where extensive tests were performed. The results were sent to the Norwegian food authorities where the official in charge was stunned at the high quality. He immediately gave approval to press forward.


Svalbardi founder holding and staring at small piece of iceberg


Today, one person's dream to see Svalbard has become a passion to share and preserve it. Jamal Qureshi and his family of 5 moved to Svalbard in 2016. Most people will never be able to visit, but Svalbarði allows you to taste a piece of the ice at the top of the world, which in turn helps us to save our fragile arctic home.

Svalbarði's near total lack of minerals gives it a light as air taste and velvety smooth texture. Our iceberg source is essentially ancient snow that was preserved into ice almost immediately after it fell as snow up to 4000 years ago. We gather icebergs which were in the center of the glaciers that cover 60% of Svalbard, so they never touched the ground to pick up either minerals or impurities.

The result is a tastelessness that becomes a taste in itself. Or as we call it, The Taste of Snow in Air™. It is a perfect complement to light dishes such as sushi, white fish, or chicken. It also acts as an excellent palate cleanser between courses because there is no mineral after-taste to interfere with the natural flavors of foods heavy or light that come next.

Water sommelier Martin Riese guided the hosts at Buzzfeed through a tasting of multiple fine water brands. Svalbarði was the closer and the verdict was "that water was the cleanest of all time for me."



Martin Riese

Water Sommelier - California

Water sommelier and F&B director at Petit Ermitage hotel in Los Angeles. This was his first time tasting Svalbarði back in 2017. His judgement was "I think it's a great water. I really love the taste. It's very very smooth."



Michael Hemling

Water Sommelier - Germany

German tea and water sommelier was able to try Svalbarði for the first time at the April 2019 international Fine Water Summit in Stockholm. His take was "you experience a very light, almost light as a feather taste. It gives you a clean, unique fresh taste."



Ruriko Suzuki

Water Sommelier - Japan

Japanese water sommelier Ruriko Suzuki also tried Svalbarði for the first time at the 2019 Fine Water Summit. She was joined by Fine Water Academy co-director Michael Mascha and her take was that Svalbarði is "Very light. Very neutral. Sweet."



Michael Mascha

Fine Water Academy - Texas

Water enthusiast Michael Mascha from Fine Water Academy seated looking at glass of water

The Austrian owner of finewaters.com and co-director of the Fine Water Academy. "This is a perfect alternative to wine in a fine dining experience. You don't want to drink something ordinary if you want to celebrate. I think that [Svalbarði] would be the perfect water."


Jessica Altieri

Water Sommelier - Florida

Water and wine sommelier Jessica Altieri holding glass with water being poured in

Founder of the WineChannelTV digital network and Wine and Water Sommelier at the Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach. Her take on Svalbarði blends her wine and water expertise. "Given its lightness, Svalbarði blends ideally with a soft, suave wine with a moderate alcoholic level."



Our Arctic Environmental Mission
  • Reversing Global Warming
  • Our Local Community

Our mission as a family business in the Arctic is to save our melting Svalbard home. Our long term goal is no less than to turn Svalbard into a carbon negative region. Besides for using our resources to educate the world on the precarious state of the Arctic and Svalbard, our immediate actions are saving 100kg of the North Pole ice cap for every bottle sold.

The natural yearly balance of ice in Svalbard is being thrown off by global warming. The roughly 5 billion cubic metres of icebergs that naturally calve off the glaciers that cover 60% of Svalbard every year are normally replenished through winter snow. Instead, because of climate change they are losing more ice than can be replaced. The permafrost is melting and the seas are not freezing as much, threatening polar bears and other wildlife.

Glacier in Svalbard calving with ice in water and birds flying around


This is why one of the key reasons Svalbarði exists is to generate revenue to finance projects that will help reverse global warming. The main project supported to date has been for upgraded water infrastructure in Uganda, Malawi, Rwanda, and Eritrea. The project removes the need to boil water with fossil fuels and limited wood in local communities by providing boreholes to more easily access clean water. This prevents both CO2 emissions and deforestation. More details on this certified Gold Standard greenhouse gas prevention project can be read here.


Our long-term environmental plan is to turn all of Svalbard into a carbon-negative region that will net remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. Which will also set an example that if the world's northernmost town in an isolated corner of the Arctic can remove CO2 with local resources, anyone can.

Certified Carbon Neutral Company logo


In the first phase of our long-term environmental plan we were Carbon Neutral certified by Natural Capital Partners. We now go beyond, supporting projects further such that every bottle sold removes enough CO2 to save 100kg of the North Pole ice cap from melting. We also only gather ice pieces which are about to melt into the sea, and which are too small to be usable by polar bears or seals for hunting or resting. In so doing we are taking a local resource which global warming is about to destroy and instead using it to help solve the problem. We have turned a symptom of the problem into a part of the solution.

Svalbard and the main settlement of Longyearbyen are going through a period of great upheaval. Svalbarði is working to be a stable and sustainable long-term contributor to the local community and economy. We wrote an extensive blog post worth reading called Coal, Climate, and Community: Svalbard in Transition. In short, for over a century the economy was based around coal mining, but the mines are now mostly shut. And with them the old economic and social core of the community. What comes next?

Downtown Longyearbyen and mountain during winter


Svalbard is important for Norway as the country's northernmost territory and the government will always work to maintain a small but viable community. The question is how can this be done in a way that creates both economic stability and the lightest and most responsible environmental footprint possible? Tourism is exploding, but can be highly unstable in terms of employment and brings its own environmental challenges with thousands of tourists impacting the land. Local entrepreneurs are starting businesses producing fresh local greens, beer, chocolates, photography and other items.

Ulla Rinman and crew gathering ice in Kongsfjorden under bright sun


It is Svalbarði's goal to play an important part as well. Instead of the old massive foreign coal tankers, now the local 23 metre ice gathering vessel the Ulla Rinman will ply Svalbard's waters. Instead of extracting carbon from the mountains, we will prevent sea level rise by gathering excess ice from the fjords just before it melts. Instead of carbon footprints expanding with economic growth, we will turn every sale into the removal of greenhouse gases from the planet and help preserve the North Pole ice cap.

As we grow, we aim to create local year-round jobs in fields such as online marketing, bottling, logistics, clean energy, and administration among others. At the end of the day, Svalbard is our home. We feel the importance of both environmental and community service and exist to do our part.

The Company

  • The Team
  • Awards
  • Press Coverage
  • Government Partnerships
  • Accomplishments

The Svalbarði team is made up of experienced and dedicated friends of the Arctic and natural waters. From environmental initiatives, to arctic logistics, to premium water marketing, the team has wide knowledge and years of experience that has allowed us to put together a truly unique and exciting endeavour primed for success.


Jamal Qureshi

CEO & Founder

LinkedIn

Born in Colorado, Jamal has lived a peripatetic life between the USA, Northern Europe, and the Middle East. He had 15 years experience in commodity market analysis before the Arctic's rock and ice got into his head and heart. His international experience has proven vital for a business with global suppliers and customers. Above all, Jamal is a creator and problem solver, having successfully put together a business no one has ever done and many said was impossible.

Terje Aunevik

Partner

LinkedIn

Originally from the north of Norway, Terje moved to Svalbard in 1998 where in 2005 he co-founded Pole Position Logistics, one of the top logistics firms in the Arctic. He heads the local business association and is a respected voice on Svalbard and arctic policy issues. Besides for strong relationships locally and with the Norwegian government in Oslo, he brings invaluable operational expertise. By which we mean, he can fix anything! He is also a dedicated family man who has given his kids a unique arctic upbringing.

Lasse Hansen

Partner & Logistics Expert

LinkedIn

With a career in Norwegian and arctic logistics spanning almost 40 years, Lasse has been instrumental in establishing Svalbarði's global shipping system. Along with Terje, he was one of the co-founders of Pole Position Logistics where he is also head of cargo operations. Lasse also founded and manages Svalbard's Polarjazz festival - an annual February event bringing musicians to Longyearbyen to celebrate the return of the sun after months of 24 hour polar night.

Steve Rowe

Marketing Advisor

Owner of Dry Residue Consulting

dryresidue.com

Originally from the UK, Steve has worked in the world of international fine waters for over a decade as a distributor, importer, and consultant. He is one of the founding members of the Fine Water Society and has been instrumental in building out Svalbarði's distribution network. He brings expertise in branding, marketing, distribution, technical development, and regulatory issues. He is based in Barcelona from where he is centrally positioned to reach our global customer and supplier networks.

Rob Hall

Bottle & Brand Designer

Owner of Studio h London

studioh.co.uk

Rob and Nicky Hall are the owners of Studio h, an award-winning boutique design firm in London. Rob led the design of Svalbarði's acclaimed bottle and brand elements. His attention to detail and brand character have been a critical factor in Svalbarði's success to date, and he will be the designer of our new small bottle.

Heïdi Sevestre

Environmental Advisor

Glaciologist & Public Climate Awareness Advocate

heidisevestre.com

Born in the French Alps, Heïdi obtained her PhD in 2015 for her research on surging glaciers at the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS). Besides Svalbard, Heidi has done fieldwork in the Himalayas, Greenland, and more recently the Larsen C ice shelf in Antarctica. She is also the host of the science documentary series “Extreme Earth” on TV France 5. She has been a friend of Svalbarði from the beginning and advises us on our arctic preservation strategy and initiatives.


Terje and Heïdi share why they are part of Svalbarði

Svalbarði has and continues to receive global recognition for both our distinctive light-as-air taste and beautiful bottle. We have won a total of 15 international awards so far, 6 for taste and 9 for design. At the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting, we have won the gold design award three years in a row and the organizers were debating whether we should be banned from winning the award any more so that others could have a chance!


TASTE AWARDS



DESIGN AWARDS

Our extremely strong brand and the surprising nature of our price to many people has turned into vast amounts of free marketing through press coverage around the world. While some of that coverage has been negative, we have found that even the bad press results in sales as many curious people investigate and discover what a positive product we actually are.


Media has been a key element that has allowed us to solve one of the biggest problems most bottled waters have - creating a brand that stands out in the crowd and has wide recognition. It is also a sustainable element that continues to this day and we feel certain will increase as our profile grows once we have capital to spend on more active marketing. This is a small sampling of some of the places we have appeared. Click the images to go to the articles.

Buzzfeed water tasting with water sommelier Martin Riese including Svalbardi

We Tried $150 Iceberg Water With A Water Expert

*Video of a multi-brand tasting with water sommelier Martin Riese, Svalbarði the peak



The Economist on premium water market with Svalbardi as the lead

Companies are racing to add value to water

*Discussion of premium water market with Svalbarði as the lead example



The Guardian on premium water market with lengthy discussion of Svalbardi

Turning water into wine: how did simple H2O become a luxury commodity?

*Discussion of premium water market including lengthy discussion of Svalbarði

GQ France about Svalbardi and our launch at Harrods

L’eau la plus chère du monde? [The most expensive water in the world?]

*GQ France about us and and on Svalbarði's launch at Harrods


Is Arctic or volcanic water Hong Kong’s new luxe menu item?

*Our Hong Kong distributor and water sommelier Jason Kuok discusses different waters with prominent mention of Svalbarði



Fox Business network article and interview with Svalbardi founder Jamal Qureshi

Luxury Iceberg Water at $100 a Pop

*Fox Business network article on us and interview with founder Jamal Qureshi


Accuweather article and video interview with Svalbardi founder Jamal Qureshi on our brand and environmental mission

'Crazy American' goes to the ends of the Earth for purest form of a life essential

*Accuweather article and video interview with founder Jamal Qureshi on iceberg water, our brand, and our environmental mission



NRK Norwegian article on Svalbardi launch

Selger vann fra Svalbard for over 600 kroner flaska [Selling water from Svalbard for over 600 kroner per bottle]

*Norway's public broadcaster NRK on the launch of Svalbarði



superyachts.com on event Svalbardi was served at on the French Riviera

Breaking the Ice: VIPs to Sample Svalbarði Polar Iceberg Water on Côte d'Azur

*Article on event Svalbarði was served at on the French Riviera


Quartz nuanced article on Svalbardi and morality of luxury water

The €75 Glacier Water That Perfectly Captures The Moral Dilemma Of Luxury In Our Late Capitalist Age

*Most nuanced article ever written on us and the ethical implications of luxury water. Note the error in the title - we are iceberg, not glacier



Yahoo! Finance article and video panel discussion on Svalbardi capital raising efforts

Would you invest in a company that sells $100 bottles of water?

*Article and video panel discussion on Svalbarði's capital raising efforts


 

Svalbardi highlighted in interview with Yvonne Wu, water sommelier and our Taiwan distributor at Water Selection

一瓶要價上千元的頂級冰山泉水讓歐美饕客買單的原因?[Why are European and American customers paying thousands of Taiwan dollars for a bottle of top-level iceberg water?]

*Svalbarði highlighted in interview with Yvonne Wu, water sommelier and our Taiwan distributor at Water Selection

Svalbarði's unique ambitions have resulted in the award of three different government grants to support our business and environmental goals.

Innovation Norway


Norway's main public agency for the development of innovative new businesses. They have programs to help diversify the economy of Svalbard. We received a grant covering half the cost of 1) our launch marketing PR and establishment of our initial online presence, and 2) a study creating the specifications and cost estimates for a future plant expansion. The expansion would both increase our production capacity and allow us to enter several markets with unusually strict regulations not designed for a company our size.


Svalbard Environmental Protection Fund

The local government fund for improving the sustainability of Svalbard. The grant was for the purchase of machinery for recycling cardboard into cushioning material for export shipments. This has allowed us to repurpose large amounts of inbound packaging which otherwise would have to be shipped back to the Norwegian mainland or further for waste disposal.


Longyearbyen Lokalstyre

The city council in our home town of Longyearbyen supports the development of local businesses. We were awarded a grant to assist with our marketing.


Phase 1 of Svalbarði was to show the viability and promise of the enterprise. Many had dismissed it as impossible logistically and said there would be no demand. We aimed to show it is in fact both possible and extremely promising. We have done this, with the proof-of-concept phase now complete. Viability has not just been established, but many of its greatest obstacles de-risked for investors today. Many lessons have been learned through trial and error, many problems solved, and we are now ready for full commercialization and a sales breakthrough with the capital we are seeking.


Svalbardi company history timeline

Specific accomplishments include:

  • Creating a clearly differentiated brand. Probably the single greatest challenge for any bottled water company, including premium brands. Consumers hear "pure" with pictures of ice and water so much that nothing stands out. Svalbarði successfully stands out because of its 1) price - shocking to many consumers, but a clear point of recognition, 2) beautiful bottle - instant compliments always follow, even from those otherwise critical of us, 3) amazing source story - when people see pictures of us gathering ice, "wow" always follows, and 4) environmental mission - a surprise to many critics and an appealing factor to a wide customer base who want to help the Arctic.
  • Building the physical infrastructure. The procedures and equipment to gather icebergs and bottle in one of the remotest corners of the world is established and operating.
  • Building an initial distribution network and high profile outlets. We have established a network of 15 distributors on 4 continents. We are found in top restaurants in the US, Europe, and Asia providing high quality exposure. We get requests every month from potential new distributors.
  • Creating a physically and economically viable global shipping and logistics system. Despite our remote location, we can deliver anywhere in the world via DHL Express air, while maintaining healthy profit margins. This allows us to keep our operating base and headquarters in Svalbard where production occurs, ensuring we can maintain hands-on quality control.
  • Achieving a high level of brand recognition. The Press Coverage and Awards tabs give many of the details. While we certainly don't have the recognition of a Voss yet, we are found on the first page of Google for many key terms such as premium bottled water, luxury water, and iceberg water. Reporters from large mainstream publications doing articles on premium waters come to us on a regular basis and new distributors reach out to us every month.

The Market

  • Our Segment
  • Our Market Position

Svalbarði is leading the creation of a new mass-market segment: luxury bottled water. By "mass-market" we mean luxury water becoming the type of affordable luxury people will purchase in situations such as:

  • Buying a nice bottle of wine during a special occasion dinner out.
  • Buying a corporate or personal gift basket or flower arrangement.
  • Buying a non-alcoholic beverage in place of wine, whiskey, or champagne.
  • Buying a nice piece of home decor.
  • Looking for special occasion items that do something environmentally positive.

Svalbarði's development comes at the right time. Multiple long-term market trends are moving in our favour. We meet many of the same underlying desires of consumers that are seen in the growth of:


1) Luxury adult beverages such as wine and whiskey. Luxury water can complement and/or replace these. Bain & Company reported 4% growth in the segment globally in 2018.


2) Bottled water as a broad category, and premium bottled water specifically, are growing rapidly as soft drinks fall out of favor. Total worldwide demand for bottled water has been growing at an annual rate of 7% according to Zenith Global. Premiumisation is happening faster with higher-end brands growing at 8.1% annually. We are at the cutting edge of that trend.


3) Non-alcoholic drinks excluding water is a hot category as people in the west are looking to cut down on alcohol consumption and growing markets in Muslim majority countries are seeking more sophisticated beverages. The category is already huge (over a trillion dollars annually) and expected to grow at an average annual rate of 4.7% globally through 2024 according to Mordor Intelligence. Premium waters are a natural complement or alternative to the consumer desires driving this demand.


4) Natural/organic food & beverages are expected to continue rapid growth of 16% per year through 2022 according to Allied Market Research. The health and wellness aspects are key issues, and water as a natural product that is increasingly recognised as having varying wellness characteristics benefits from the same drivers.



Luxury water is not a "billionaires-only" market. It is developing as a new mass market affordable-luxury. €80 may sound shocking at first for a bottle of water. But when people approach it as equivalent to purchasing a nice glass carafe, a special occasion beverage such as wine, or a unique environmentally friendly gift, those are things for which it is not at all unusual or unaffordable to pay €80 or far more. Indeed, the vast majority of our customers have already proven to be middle class. In this sense we are not akin to a Rolls Royce that most people can only dream of, but rather a Mercedes. Orders of magnitude more people can afford a Mercedes than a Rolls Royce, and even more people realistically aspire to it. Just as Mercedes is more than just a "niche" market, so too is luxury water. The key issue is helping consumers see that fine waters generally and Svalbarði specifically are more than "just water".


This is not a market starting from scratch. Trends are already moving that are making premium water (broadly defined) something people are willing to pay more for when eating out or in their daily lives. Older brands such as Perrier and Evian started the trend decades ago. Brands like Fiji and Voss took it further in more recent years. And now the past decade has seen the rise of 1) water sommeliers, 2) restaurant water menus, 3) a wide variety of low-premium to high-premium "craft" brands, and 4) a couple luxury "bling" brands in our price range. All these are bringing the concept of water as something truly special to a higher level of consumer consciousness. We are taking this premiumisation to its logical endpoint where such a product truly is a special occasion item for almost anyone.


Unlike ordinary premium waters, there are high barriers to entry for anyone wishing to be a mass-market luxury water. A rounded brand like Svalbarði that includes multiple elements (source story, design, gourmet qualities, social mission, etc.) is necessary to entice many consumers to pay the price. The product must be incredibly unique and not "just water" if it is to become a mass-luxury product and not a simple niche curiosity. Stories like Svalbarði aren't just lying around everywhere the way artesian wells for "ordinary" premium brands are.


Some examples from Google search trends show the ongoing long term rise in interest in the segment. "Water menu" and "water gift" in particular show there is ongoing growth in our target customer segments, and have the added benefit of being counter-seasonal to each other. That is, suggesting peak restaurant demand in summers and peak gifting demand in the winter. General searches for "premium water" also show steady upward growth.



Svalbarði brings a unique arctic environmental benefit just as global warming related attention on the Arctic and Svalbard has skyrocketed. While the initial unresearched assumption of many people is that we are somehow taking advantage of global warming, when they discover we are actually helping to reverse it, Svalbarði becomes desirable as a eco-product. We are making increasingly pro-active efforts to get this message across and believe that for e-commerce it may become one of the leading drivers of sales.


Our modeling suggests the potential market size of the luxury water market for all brands is at least $5.7 billion in annual global sales. As with any new disruptive market concept, there are no market studies. However, we have looked at how much could be sold through 5 main channels should consumers widely adopt the concept. We have tried to keep assumptions conservative - i.e., we do not expect it will ever become the size of the wine market - so there is further upside potential.

  • Restaurants are likely to be the largest market segment at around $3,2bn. There are 2700 Michelin Star restaurants in the world, with the guide covering countries that represent less than a quarter of the world's population. Between the rest of the world and the many more high-end restaurants without Michelin Stars, there is likely well more than an order of magnitude more restaurants that are in the price range to serve luxury waters. If the concept were to become a common element in these restaurants, then 10 thousand restaurants globally selling about a case per night would mean $3.2bn in annual sales. Having a small bottle version will be crucial for this to be possible.
  • Hotels we see as the second largest potential market at around $1,9bn. A small bottle will be important here as well. Super-luxury suites of $2000 per night or more might take large bottles, though for "ordinary" premium suites, a small bottle would be critical. There are estimated to be around 10 thousand 5 star hotels in the world. If luxury water became common in the minibars of their premium suites (i.e., rooms between bottom level and super-luxury), and assuming average occupancy rates of around 65% and sales in about 4% of the occupied rooms on any given night, then around $1,9bn in annual sales would be generated.
  • 1st class airline cabins, VIP clubs, and e-commerce are much smaller, with a combined total that might amount to $0,6bn. But all could be important kickstarters for the concept to gain wider acceptance as bottles would be seen in high profile locations and become more aspirational.

Our goal is to be the first luxury water to break into broad mainstream demand, such that we will have a strong first mover advantage when competitors eventually come to copy our success. Creating a new market segment is difficult of course, but that is where the $6 billion opportunity lies. With the aforementioned trends all in our favor, and our brand foundation built, the timing is right to be the first mover and take a dominant position.


To date we are one of only three luxury bottled water brands, and the only one with all the necessary rounded traits to go mass-market. We define a "luxury" bottled water as one for whom the typical price of a primary product in the brand lineup equates to $50/litre or more. The other two brands are Bling H2O in California and Fillico Jewelry Water in Japan. There is a new brand called Nevas Water in Germany which is about half the price of this definition, though they do have limited edition versions that would meet the luxury definition. They are also targeting the same sorts of consumers that we are and seem to be having some success, although their geographic scope is very limited in Europe so far versus our more global presence.

Pyramid showing bottled water brands by price with Svalbardi at top alongside Bling H2O and Fillico Jewelry Water
Becoming a mass-market affordable luxury requires more than just a high price. The product must have numerous desirable brand elements that can attract a wide array of consumers and not simply those looking to brag about their wealth. This is especially important for luxury water, as very few customers can afford it as a regular source of hydration. Consumers must see it as meeting other types of their wants. From our proof-of-concept phase and observations of the other brands in the space, we have identified the following traits as key to success:

  • Fine Dining-Level Elegance: For broad adoption in top level restaurants, the bottle must have an elegant table presence that fits the environment. Svalbarði does this in a way other expensive but gaudy brands do not.
  • Attention-Getting Source: As with consumer interest in the terroir of wine or fine foods, the source of the water provides a story that captivates. With water it is very difficult to find a source that truly stands out to the consumer, but Svalbarði's icebergs easily do.
  • Unique Taste & Mouthfeel: Perhaps unexpectedly, this seems to be the least important factor. "How does it taste?" is definitely a frequent question though, and Svalbarði does have a truly unique super-light taste that has not just won multiple awards but is frequently people's favourite in tasting sessions.
  • Environmental Benefits: People want to know the things they purchase are doing good for the world. At the start, people unfortunately often assumed Svalbarði somehow damages the Arctic. But as we have learned and taken charge of immediately presenting the message of the good we do, customers have increasingly expressed unsolicited positive comments that they appreciate the good we are doing.
  • Attention-Getting Price: The "shock factor" is not to be underestimated as it often is the key factor that leads people to explore the product in detail. When they hear the price of Svalbarði, they immediately want to know if it is worth it. The bottle matches expectations right away. And then when they see pictures of the source and hear the other brand traits, they generally understand. This is where conversion from curiosity to customer occurs.
  • Global Media Coverage: While not a brand trait per se, appearing in the media only occurs because the brand does stand out and it increases understanding for and appreciation of the product. Svalbarði is so unique that journalists and reviewers often give detailed explanations of us and not simply passing references as an expensive product as usually happens with other brands. We also appear in media all around the world and not just in a narrow home market.


Bling H2O and Fillico Jewelry Water have been around for about 15 years. While their sales numbers are not known, they have clearly focused on a small niche of wealthy customers interested in showing off and not much more. The water in the bottle for both brands is nothing particularly special and not the focus of their marketing. These brands are simply about a gaudy bottle covered in crystals. There is clearly a market for this or they wouldn't still be here, but not a particularly big one or they would be in far more venues and have a larger industry presence. Both are sold online and via a small number of water specialist distributors and restaurants.


Nevas Water is interesting in that their broader goal to be a champagne replacement is very helpful in building the consumer mentality we need for success, even if their price is only about a quarter of ours. However that pricing is a challenge in that the level that is too high for Voss-type "Toyota" volumes, and too low for easy profitability at "Mercedes" volumes. The business model is ironically challenged by their price being too low. It will be interesting to see if they adjust it in either direction.


Should other brands begin to develop in our price point aiming at a similar customer, it will be good for everyone as it helps create the market. This is reflective of general fine water industry attitudes. Everyone realizes that as the concept is created in consumers' minds, there will be more than enough demand for everyone. This results in a great deal of mutual support. As the market grows, the Svalbarði brand always stands out strongly for its uniqueness. Already today in places with water menus, many restaurants consider us a "must have" peak offering thanks to our truly interesting story and design.


Thus far, big players simply haven't cared to develop this segment. When they see it grow, they will eventually want in. By being there first, we will have a strongly defensible position and will likely become an acquisition target. For now, the goal is to use the marketing resources we are raising here to break through from our finished proof of concept stage into full commercial volumes.

The Business

  • Business Model
  • Market Capture Targets
  • Financials To-Date

The key elements of the Svalbarði business model are:

  • Economics: Luxury, Not Bottled water. Most bottled waters chase volume on shrinking margins. Even premium. Many like Voss end up cheapening their brands and cutting their own throats. Not us, we are a luxury good with a high price and high margins, achieving the same profit margins at far lower volume.
  • Branding: "Truly Special". Key to maintaining margins is being truly unique. Our four key elements are: 1) stunning bottle, 2) unique story, 3) standout price, and 4) environmental mission. These attract customers from a wide array of income levels, not just a narrow ultra high net worth niche.
  • Distribution: E-commerce & Wholesale. Target is to build e-commerce to a level that fully covers costs. Wholesale to HORECA outlets will then be the real upside. We have the key advantage of economics and logistics allowing global e-commerce few other waters can engage in.
  • Customers: Connect directly and spread the word. Use our online presence, natural media exposure, relationships with public personas, and presence at prestige hospitality locations to connect with customers directly. Then grow both our e-commerce and wholesale sales off that recognition. Capital raised now will be used to take this to a new level, with major digital marketing/SEO, tradeshow attendance, and salesforce hiring in key locations.

Utilizing those elements, we foresee 5 distinct phases the business will grow through. 1) Proof of concept - just completed and seeking further funding. 2) Break even. 3) "Family Business" level profitability. 4) Initial investor returns - significant growth phase gives valuations that would represent initial healthy returns should an investor exit. 5) "Next Big Thing" - luxury water market firmly established and growing rapidly.


Further details on what each phase means are outlined in this infographic:


The goal of moving quickly now is to capture as much market share as possible before others see the potential and find ways to overcome the barriers to entry. $6bn may be the Total Available Market (TAM) in annual sales, but we estimate the following for how that breaks down into what we can capture. The more we raise, the more market we can capture.


Serviceable Available Market (SAM) - $750mn: This represents our estimate of the total potential mass-market luxury water segment for all brands at wholesale prices in regions we have current distribution.


Serviceable Obtainable Market (SOM): This represents our estimate of the total amount of the SAM we could eventually capture. We have broken it down to our estimates by phase of business development once we have reached profitability.

  • Profitable Family Business - $0,8mn. Just beginning to break through to broader non-water-specialist market awareness in a few markets.
  • Initial Investor Returns - $7mn. Larger clients increasing, wider consumer awareness in most of the markets we are present in.
  • Next Big Thing - $190mn. Luxury water recognized broadly by consumers as a desirable product and widely available premium luxury hospitality venues.

The goal with this raise is at minimum (with a NOK 4mn investment) to reach the Initial Investor Returns level, or with a larger investment (NOK 10mn or more) to be getting deep into the Next Big Thing phase within 5 years.


In the proof of concept phase we have completed, sales reached €80k in 2018 for the second year in a row, with a 2018 loss of -€71k. Details on our annual numbers through 2018 can be found at THIS LINK. All numbers are in thousand Norwegian kroner per year.

The overall story is that:

  1. We have established the types of customers we expected do in fact exist - restaurants, those seeking a special item from the Arctic as a gift or home item, high net worth individuals, hotels, etc.
  2. However, with almost no sales and marketing resources we have not been able to make a full commercial push to reach these customers en masse yet.
  3. But the infrastructure and market testing have been prepared, put into operation, and key initial problems solved in the completed proof of concept stage.
  4. And now with the seeds having been sown, we just need water in the form of capital and we are prepared to produce the crop. We have specific actions we will begin undertaking on day 1 after this fundraising round closes, with a particular focus on e-commerce for base profitability and local salespeople working with key distributors for wholesale growth.

Investment Plan

  • Plan With Funds
  • Financial Modeling
  • Reaching Volume
  • Potential Returns

The goal of this capital raise is to provide the funds for a major sales breakout to profitability and beyond within 24 months. The larger the investment, the greater the opportunity for faster, larger growth and early market dominance. But regardless of the amount raised, we believe profitability can be reached in that time frame.


Funds raised will be spent on the following in order of priority, with the amount of spend on each dependent on the amount raised:

  • 2 year runway covering necessary operating expenses so focus can be fully on sales, marketing, and efficient operations.
  • Major buildout of digital marketing/SEO so e-commerce alone can get us to breakeven, and so brand awareness for wholesale is widely expanded.
  • Hiring of salespeople to work with our distributors in high potential markets.
  • Introduction of a small bottle to vastly expand restaurant, hotel, club, airline, etc. sales channel possibilities.
  • Plant infrastructure upgrades to ensure sufficient production capacity and open new markets where regulations require more automated plant.

We have created a range of three plan options. The stated raise target range of NOK 4-10mn encompasses the first two options, labelled "crawl" and "walk". We mentioned up top that an option for a much larger NOK 45mn also exists, so we have included it here under "run" for reference. These plans are flexible enough to effectively utilize any amount of capital between these ranges as well:

  • Crawl - NOK 4mn: Immediate digital marketing thrust. Minor improvements to bottling line. Part-time salesperson in year 2. Major plant upgrade only after lengthy period of profitability. Small bottle shortly after profitability reached.




  • Walk - NOK 10mn: Even bigger digital marketing buildout. 3 full-time equivalent salespeople immediately (US and UK focus). Minor improvements to bottling line and warehouse. Plant upgrade only after lengthy period of profitability. Launch small bottle immediately.




  • Run - NOK 45mn: Even bigger digital marketing buildout. 5 full-time equivalent salespeople immediately (US, UK, and France/Monaco/Switzerland focus), Major plant upgrade immediately allowing entry to UAE/NY/California within 1 year. Launch small bottle immediately.

We have modeled our targets for revenue and profitability under each of the three investment scenarios. There are no guarantees that this will be achieved, but we feel these are reachable goals with the resources being sought.


Note that Svalbard benefits from a special 16% corporate tax rate versus 22% in mainland Norway.


Crawl - NOK 4mn: Available resources go overwhelmingly into e-commerce development to build up to profitability in year two. Growth here is the slowest of all the scenarios, though it will speed up once profitable and can re-invest in wholesale sales & marketing more heavily.




Walk - NOK 10mn: E-commerce will be immediate big push still, but significant resources will be able to go in to hospitality sector sales & marketing from the beginning. Along with having a small bottle by later in year 1, this will allow significantly more growth as we target markets we have already identified as the most promising for wholesale.




Run - NOK 45mn: While breakeven is reached during year 2, year 3 is first profitable full year as the much heavier up-front plant investment and ongoing sales & marketing investment takes bit longer to cross the threshold. As time progresses, the amount of profitability and volume steadily and strongly outstrips the "walk" scenario. The upfront plant investment both fully opens up the high potential UAE, NY, and California markets by the end of year 1, and prevents any damaging production bottlenecks from developing which are higher risk in other scenarios.


Because of our business model, we need only a tiny fraction of the volumes ordinary premium brands do to achieve the same revenues. Approximate breakeven volumes on an annualized basis for the three investment options are as follows. Note that "bottles" here refers to 750ml equivalent and that we assume two small 330ml bottles equal one large bottle.

  • Crawl: 15 thousand bottles
  • Walk: 55 thousand bottles
  • Run: 90 thousand bottles

The following are some example paths and key drivers towards hitting various benchmarks.



E-commerce is a tool to reach base profitability while building up the bigger hospitality sector sales. Volumes always likely to be much lower, but the profit margins are substantially higher with room to raise prices still. Monthly subscriptions, while low in number, have proven very lucrative.


Restaurants are the most important long-term volume target. Currently we are sold as a specialty item. Rising brand awareness can speed these types of sales up. But bigger volume will come from:

  • A small bottle making it possible to sell as a default item in top restaurants.
  • Inclusion on fixed menus and pairings. Rising awareness of unique waters and culinary aspects is helping. Our salesforce would work intensively with restaurants to create more profitable selling models for them.

Hotels we have a small foothold in Florida, but real breakthrough needs a small bottle that can be default bedside for luxury suites and manageable for premium suite minibars. Goal is to be selling at chain-level, not just individual properties.


Clubs have great potential for VIP tables bottle service. Need salespeople and financial resources to get in.

We have estimated theoretical potential investment returns should the financial model forecasts we outlined occur. We emphasize there are no guarantees of returns, but we provide these calculations based on our analysis of the market. We emphasize that Svalbardi AS is a startup up private company and investors should not anticipate any specific timeframe for when exits or liquidity of Svalbardi AS securities will be available.


Our returns analysis is based on the following methodology:

  • For future valuation potential we sought P/E ratios of comparable companies to apply to forecast scenarios for year 5. That is, roughly the timeframe where the relevant plan has had time to be reaching into "Next Big Thing" territory, with the relative degree of development dependent on the initial capital investment from this raise.
  • We are so unique that there are no direct comparables. But numerous companies share some key characteristics and helped us zero in on how the market appears to value our characteristics.
  • Based on those comparables, we used P/E values of 10, 25, and 50 as examples for low, mid, and high ranges. These are actually well below the averages of the comparables we examined.


Utilizing those P/E ratios and our financial model, the following tables show the year 5 company valuation, current-round investor equity ownership ("run" scenario assumes a conversion of the SAFE has taken place), absolute return in the currency of the table assuming a full exit, the multiple of the original investment earned assuming a full exit, and the average annualized return over 5 years from the given valuation. The tables show this in NOK, USD, and EUR.


Investor Terms

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ENTITY TO BE INVESTED IN

Svalbardi AS - A Norwegian company headquartered in Svalbard with organization number 815 343 972. Note that this is a private placement under Norwegian law and all investors must be legally eligible to participate on that basis for the investment to be confirmed and finalized.

TERMS OFFERED

  • Amount Seeking: NOK 4-10mn / (~€400k - €1mn) / (~$450k-$1,1mn)
  • Valuation: NOK 28mn pre-money (add total raised for post-money)
  • Existing Shares Outstanding: 200.000
  • New Shares To Be Issued: Up to 71.999 - This may occur in any combination of Ordinary or Non-Voting Shares
  • Price Per New Share: NOK 140 (~€14 / $15)
  • Minimum Investment: NOK 100.000 (~€10k / $11k)
  • Share Classes: For investments of NOK 500.000 or more (~€50k / $55k), or for existing shareholders as of 1 January 2019, these will be Ordinary Shares. Investments of less than NOK 500.000 will be Non-Voting Shares. These rank equally with Ordinary Shares in every respect (including the right to participate in dividends and capital distributions), except that B Shares do not have any voting or pre-emption rights.

NOTES ON LARGER INVESTMENT SCENARIO

In the event investor(s) wish to pursue the larger NOK 45mn (~€4,5mn / $5mn) plan targeting faster growth, we feel a SAFE structure would be a logical choice of instrument. However, we are open to discussing different options.