Drinks made from herbs and medicinal plants are healthy but they don’t normally taste nice. Entrepreneur Rosa Li changed this stereotype when she launched Wildwonder, a line of sparkling probiotic beverages made up of super herbs. The startup featured on season 14 of Shark Tank in January 2023 and got a deal with Tony Xu. Currently, Wildwonder is worth an estimated $8 million.
Rosa Li’s Background
Rosa Li was raised in Beijing, China, but relocated to San Francisco. Li graduated from Northwestern University and spent a semester studying in London. Later she got an MBA from Stanford!
Rosa has a strong background in finance and previously worked in investment banking for Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley. She left the finance world behind in 2012 and gained experience in marketing and business analytics over the next two years.
As a kid, Li’s grandmother used to brew tonics with herbs and spices. Sure it was healthy but it didn’t tickle her taste buds. Rosa wanted to get the best of both worlds, which inspired her to start Rosali Tea in 2015. The business was a “purveyor of artisanal teas” but shut down in 2017.
However, she soon realized that people were too busy to brew their own drinks. This inspired her to make ready-to-consume herbal beverages. But instead of just tea, she also made canned sparkling probiotic drinks.
Her second business was originally called Tea Crush, and it was launched in 2020. They rebranded to Wildwonder when the startup expanded beyond tea. In 2021, the founder raised a seed round of $2.2 million from three venture capital firms.
Appearing on Shark Tank
Raising over $2 million was a huge achievement but needed to raise more money and bring a Shark on board. The beverage company is already in Sprouts Farmers Market and every Whole Foods store in Northern California.
All of this was achieved just as the pandemic started. As the company expanded, they started to focus on improving packaging, launching new products and growing their footprint in retail stores outside of North Cal.
Rosa delivered a strong pitch and it’s clear her background in private equity has helped her. She handed out samples to the Sharks and most of them liked the taste of the product and the branding. Rosa came into the tank seeking to raise $500,000 for a 5% equity stake despite not being profitable.
After Shark Tank
The episode only aired in early 2023 and Rosa saw a huge bump in orders from appearing on national television. The business should become profitable during this year. You can purchase their unique flavors such as mango gold and peach ginger on Amazon or at Drinkwildwonder.com.
The beverages are sold in packs of 12 on Amazon but you can order a 24 or 36 pack through their website. Currently, Wildwonder is offering Shark Tank fans a $19 discount on their variety 24-pack. They are now available at over 600 locations across the US, ranging from small local markets to national chains such as Whole Foods and Sprouts Farmers Market.
Wildwonder donates 5% of profits from every drink towards a cause that empowers women and marginalized communities. By now, the company has sold over 1 million cans! Their Sparkling Probiotic Juice Drink has a 4.3-star rating from 181 reviews on Amazon. Rosa Li’s company is growing and is showing no sign of slowing down. Wildwonder is now worth an estimated $8 million. The deal with Tony Xu should close within a few months.