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Silicon Valley Investing in No Booze Drinks & Bars.


WeWork is limiting members to four 12-ounce glasses of beer per day, down from unlimited beers.

People are sick of drinking. Investors are betting on the ‘sober curious’ (CNN).

New York (CNN Business)Getaway in Brooklyn was comfortably full for a Saturday night, when I came in to try my first “shrub” — an acidic beverage made from vinegar, fruit, sugar, club soda and zero alcohol.I ordered a carrot-and-ginger shrub and hoped it would be palatable. I was pleasantly surprised, drank the whole thing and, voila, was not even tipsy. Even more exciting: my bill. It was a mere $15 for two drinks and a bread bowl — to soak up the non-alcoholic beverages, of course.Getaway is a sober bar, a new kind of dry nightlife option that is cropping up in New York City. The idea is to provide outlets for people who want to socialize in a bar-like location, but without having to drink alcohol.They are part of larger trend. People are paying greater attention to their mental health and wellness, and many Americans are specifically looking to reduce their alcohol intake. People of all ages are drinking less beer, while millennials are drinking less overall. And Silicon Valley is taking note, with tech companies reevaluating their alcohol policies and investors looking to capitalize on people who prefer not to drink.”It’s such a part of the culture, especially here in San Francisco that I would go out for dinner and have two to three drinks everyday,” Silicon Valley entrepreneur Justin Kan, the CEO of law-tech startup Atrium, told CNN Business. He said he has seen a shift recently within his tech circle. “I was at a dinner with a lot of tech people last night and probably half the people weren’t drinking.”Kan announced last month, in a post on Twitter, that he was giving up alcohol. He called drinking an unhealthy habit that had gotten in the way of his experiencing life. It wasn’t exactly unusual for Kan to share personal details about himself: He once livestreamed his life through the startup he co-founded in 2007 called Justin.tv, which ultimately became Twitch, the popular live streaming platform for gamers now owned by Amazon.The same day he tweeted, Kan launched a group on chat app Telegram to connect with others who were similarly deciding to get sober from alcohol. He didn’t expect that more than 1,000 people would join.

New products for the sober — and ‘sober curious’

Their sales of alcoholic beverages have been declining, big alcohol companies, ranging from Heineken to AB InBev (the owner of popular beer brands such as Budweiser), see an opportunity: They’re investing in non-, or low-alcohol drinks. So too, startup investors and entrepreneurs are hoping to cater to the “sober curious,” people who for the sake of wellness are reevaluating their relationships with alcohol and how often they drink.The emergence of sober bars is one of the signals that investor Anu Duggal points to when talking about the trend of not drinking. Duggal, who is based in New York City, said that like Kan, she is noticing “a number of people who are choosing not to drink.”Duggal’s firm, Female Founders Fund — which has backed popular consumer startups such as Rent The Runway — is a recent investor in Kin Euphorics.

Kin’s first product is a non-alcoholic beverage called “High Rhode.” It is part adaptogen (a nontoxic plant that is claimed to have de-stressing effects), part nootropics (a supplement said to help with cognitive functions), and part botanics. On its website, the company notes that its statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and that its product is not intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any disease.

Sober curiosity is a real thing.”


Rather than an indulgence, Kin reasons that the consumption of its product is more for “self care after dark.” It wants to create a new market of products that don’t contain alcohol but also aren’t laden with sugar.Kin is co-founded by Matthew Cauble, cofounder of Silicon Valley meal replacement startup Soylent and Jen Batchelor, who serves as CEO. It has already attracted venture capital firms including Canaan Partners, Refactor Capital, Weekend Fund, and Fifty Years, which aims to invest in companies using business to solve the world’s biggest problems. The company declined to disclose how much funding it has received.”Sober curiosity is a real thing,” Batchelor told CNN Business.

Read the full and rather lengthy article on CNN. We’ll stick to drinking and investing in the real thing.