Sanzo Raises $10M Series A Financing Round to Catapult Cultural Representation in Grocery

The Asian-inspired sparkling water brand partners with strategic investors and retailers, introduces Yuzu Ginger to its intentional lineup

New York, Feb. 22, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sanzo, the first-ever Asian-inspired sparkling water brand founded by Queens-born, Filipino American Sandro Roco raises $10M in their Series A financing round, led by CircleUp Growth Partners and with participation from Convivialite Ventures, Semillero Partners, Gold House Ventures, Kaya Ventures, and Francisco Crespo, the former senior strategic advisor to the CEO and Chairman of the Board as well as former Chief Growth Officer at The Coca-Cola Company. Previous investors Mana Ventures, Outbound Ventures, and Hyphen Capital – whose mission is to support the next generation of Asian American founders – also participated in the round. Another previous investor includes Simu Liu, the first Asian lead in a Marvel film. This growing and strategic group of investors not only demonstrates Sanzo’s ongoing commitment to AAPI representation at all levels of their business but supports Sanzo’s mission to make a significant dent in the $10+ billion sparkling water category with Asian flavors that represent over 60% of the world’s population. 

"Sanzo stood out to us by delivering what consumers are looking for - innovative and bold flavors combined with a healthier nutritional profile and an authentic, rabid fan base," says Pat Robinson, CircleUp Growth Partners’ managing director, who will join Sanzo’s board of directors as a part of the fundraise. "The sales velocities and capital efficiency Sanzo have achieved this early on in its lifecycle, especially during the pandemic, demonstrated to us that there is something very special going on. Layering on the brand partnerships and cultural resonance of the brand, plus Sandro's vision for the future, we became even more excited to partner up and help him build the next iconic beverage brand."

With that, the funding ushers in a new phase of growth for the two-and-a-half-year-old company. Sanzo has gained steam among 2,000+ strategic retailers to date — from Panda Express to Erewhon — and is now rolling out all flavors to Whole Foods Market nationwide (500+ doors). With Asian-Americans maintaining the #1 rank in buying power in the states and the exponential popularity of Asian flavors, Sanzo is poised to supply a growing demand for their now four, intentionally representative SKUs: Lychee (native to Southeast Asia), Calamansi Lime (native to The Philippines), Alphonso Mango (native to India) and as of February 1, Yuzu Ginger, which spotlights Japan’s favorite citrus. Demonstrating 5x year-over-year growth both in 2020 and 2021  and a >30% repeat purchase rate in direct-to-consumer sales alone, Sanzo has realized a niche that both resonates and educates through a common, high-velocity household staple.

“It has been incredible to see how Sanzo has grown since its launch in 2019,” says founder and CEO Sandro Roco. “I founded Sanzo because there was such a stark divide between the clean, natural formulas that you see across the board in mainstream supermarkets and the high-quality, beloved Asian flavors that represent more than half of the world’s population. Whether they grew up with these flavors or are just tasting them for the first time it is incredibly exciting and humbling to see customers incorporating these flavors into their daily routines. ”

Yuzu Ginger is the latest flavor to join Sanzo’s lineup of sparkling water in addition to Lychee, Calamansi, and Mango. Founded by Filipino-American Sandro Roco, each of Sanzo's now four SKUs support the brand's mission of bridging cultures, and closing the gap between clean labels and beloved Asian flavors. In keeping with the existing flavors, Sanzo’s Yuzu Ginger is made using only real fruit and no artificial flavors, preservatives, or added sugar. Ranked at #2 on Whole Foods' top 10 trends list of 2022, Yuzu is an extremely fragrant and tart citrus cultivated predominantly in Japan. Ginger provides a balancing and invigorating bite alongside the Yuzu and has risen in popularity during Covid-19 due to its known immunity benefits. Roco carefully chose this combination not only to spotlight the popular Japanese fruit in the mainstream market but also as a response to customer & retailer insights requesting new flavors.

Sanzo’s Yuzu Ginger will be launching nationally in Whole Foods Market, and other retailers across the US. Customers can also shop all four flavors online at and on their Amazon shop page.

Looking ahead, Sanzo is launching a limited-time-only Lychee can in celebration of Disney and Pixar’s upcoming film, Turning Red, streaming only on Disney+ starting March 11 (Subscription required), which speaks to their ethos of amplifying the voices and talent of AAPI directors, actors, and storylines. Much like their 2021 collaboration with Marvel Studios for their record-breaking debut of Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings, Sanzo seeks inspiration from iconic cultural moments, strategically partnering with institutions that are committed to telling the stories of Asian leads. 

About Sanzo: Sanzo is the first Asian-inspired sparkling water born to deliver beverages that bridge the gap between beloved Asian flavors that represent over 60% of the world’s population and clean, modern labels. Each can of Sanzo is made with real fruit and zero added sugar, artificial, or natural flavors—a complex yet refreshing antidote to sugary and preservative-heavy labels of legacy Asian and American brands. Currently offering Calamansi, Lychee, and Mango-flavored sparkling water, Sanzo represents an invitation to both traditional and pop Asian culture—a true extension of the ubiquitous influence the region continues to have on a global scale. Launched in 2019 by Sandro Roco, a Queens-born Filipino-American on a mission to bridge the best Eastern and Western cultures. Find out more at and on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.  

About CircleUp: Founded in 2009, CircleUp is a privately owned company on a mission to empower entrepreneurs with the funding and support that they need to thrive. Having facilitated investments for 500+ brands and counting, CircleUp uses their business technology platform, Helio, to increase the speed, quality, and objectivity of decision making in the private company landscape. Using a unique combination of data and machine learning technology, CircleUp makes it possible for underserved entrepreneurs to finally get the support they deserve. With a vast network of entrepreneurs, institutional investors, industry experts, and flexible financing solutions, CircleUp is shining a light on untapped human potential and transforming the world of private enterprise. For more information please visit:


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