The Menlo Park, California-based startup, which uses a proprietary technology to rapidly produce custom whiskey, announced on Tuesday that it received $2.6 million in seed funding from semiconductor mogul T. J. Rodgers and baseball legend Derek Jeter.
“Bespoken Spirits brings a new era of opportunity to the industry, especially as it has been hit hard by COVID-19,” Stu Aaron, a co-founder of Bespoken, said in a statement.
The company says the technology also enables users to customize different flavor profiles for their whiskeys, and avoid a phenomenon called “angel’s share,” in which up to 10% of the spirit evaporates from the cask. Bespoken sells this technology, as well as a portfolio of custom spirits, to consumers.
Bespoken’s new investors have experience in the food and drink industry: Jeter is an investor and brand ambassador for nutritional food product company Performance Kitchen, and Rodgers is the owner and winemaker at Clos de La Tech winery in Santa Cruz, California.
“The company’s ability to deliver both quality and variety is what really caught my attention and made me want to invest,” Rodgers said in a press release. “In a short period of time, they’ve already produced an incredible range of top-notch spirits from whiskeys to rum, brandy and tequila.”
Aficionados seem to agree: Bespoken won eight awards at the 2020 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, and 10 awards at the American Distillery Institute’s 2020 Judging of Craft Spirits.