Brisbane startup launches world-first
2 June 2016
A Brisbane-based startup is shaking up the billion-dollar beverages industry with its enhanced-water product PERKii.
PERKii is at the forefront of probiotic technology, claiming more than one billion probiotics in each bottle. The flavoured water uses the world's first patented Progel technology, which was developed by The University of Queensland (UQ) Professor Bhesh Bhandari from the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences.
The Progel technology allows the probiotics to be encapsulated in tiny natural beads called microgels, which stay alive to ensure safe passage through the digestive system. This results in increased health benefits for consumers, especially for those who can't drink milk.
The beverage is 85% water, with great natural flavours, only 26 calories and just one and a half teaspoons of sugar from apples.
PERKii is now a separate company, spun out of Progel and led by CEO Randy Milne.
"It has been a hectic but rewarding journey so far with this exciting product and I'm confident it has a big future in the beverage industry," Mr Milne said.
PERKii co-creator Cameron Turner said the company had been trialling its unique probiotic drink since August 2015 with great success.
"After attracting national attention from retailers, PERKii has begun full-scale production and is now available throughout the nation," Mr Turner said.
Prominent start-up funders Uniseed, Brisbane Angels and Melbourne Angels have invested in PERKii, with original backer Uniquest still holding a significant shareholding.
On the securing of investors, Mr Randy said, "We are excited and extremely proud to be associated with this calibre of investor. Their experience and ability to grow successful companies is evident and we are sure PERKii will continue to grow and achieve new successes with the support of this group."
Since September 2015, Mr Milne, a former National Business Manager at Coca-Cola Amatil, has been guiding PERKii through a trial period in a number of outlets around Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.
Mr Milne said, "During this trial period, PERKii has received a lot of positive feedback from outlets and customers looking for a delicious, low calorie, lactose-free probiotic drink that targets the digestive system."
For more information about PERKii, visit www.perkii.com.au.