‘We wanted to make something beautiful and easy to use like an Apple product’

The financing round – led by Temasek and supported by Bitburger Ventures and Founders Future – will help waterdrop build its US team, develop new products, and enter new markets, said Murray, who said future generations would be horrified that we ever sold drinking water – Something is already available on tap to most Americans and Europeans – in single-use bottles and then shipped it all over the world.

“Even as a teenager I never really understood why all these people were drinking sugar water in plastic bottles,” ​said Murray, who came up with the idea for waterdrop – dissolvable cubes combining plant extracts, vitamins, and natural flavors, colors, and sweeteners – in Singapore in 2015, and spent the next 18 months refining the concept.

But the basic idea was simple, he told FoodNavigator-USA: “First of all, it’s really light to sell micro drinks online, whereas bottled beverages are too heavy and unsustainable. Second, we could drastically reduce the amount of carbon dioxide ​[emitted by producing plastic bottles and shipping water], and third, we let people individualize their consumption.”

‘Even as a teenager I never really understood why all these people were drinking sugar water in plastic bottles’

While the water enhancer market is well established, most firms in the space are producing powders in packets (eg. Liquid IV), tablets in plastic tubes (eg. nuun), or squeezy plastic dispensers that contain multiple servings (MiO), none of which appealed to Murray, either aesthetically or practically.

“I dislike the syrups because of the packaging and all the preservatives, plus I did not see them as being a lifestyle brand that you’re proud of,” ​said Murray, who attracts a lot of new customers with a starter pack combining micro drinks and an upmarket glass or steel bottle or tumbler.

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