Creators of the probiotic drink PERKii have used a $1.53 million investment from the Palaszczuk Government’s Business Development Fund to increase production and expand sales across Australia and internationally.
Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Curtis Pitt said the low calorie water and juice based probiotic drink was developed on home soil at the University of Queensland and launched in 2016.
“PERKii, which uses a uniquely-treated probiotic linked to immunity and gut health, is a home grown success story,” Mr Pitt said.
“After launching just over a year ago, PERKii has made great strides into local market with drinks already available in hundreds of selected supermarkets, cafes and health stores.
“The Business Development Fund Investment is helping PERKii expand their market share in Australia and look to expand into lucrative overseas markets in the United States and across Asia.”
“With growing demand, PERKii is looking to expanding their manufacturing facilities early next year, which is great news for future additional employment opportunities.”
Member for Sunnybank Peter Russo said PERKii drinks where manufactured in Coopers Plains.
“The $1.53 million investment is evidence of the Palaszczuk Governments commitment to investing in local innovative businesses,” Mr Russo said.
“We’re helping to enable significant business expansion and get PERKii products on shelves in more than 500 stores.”
PERKii CEO Matthew Kowal said the funding is a game-changer for the company.
“Our product has enormous potential and this investment is helping realise the vision we have for our company – to help improve the health and wellbeing of people around the world,” Mr Kowal said.
“As well as a vote of confidence, this investment means we can invest in our people, our facilities and the research and development to deliver new growth areas for PERKii and the Queensland economy.”
Mr Kowal said the support would also help PERKii improve the production capacity of its Queensland-based encapsulation process.
PERKii’s co-investors Uniseed Management Pty Ltd and Brisbane Angels, will provide ongoing mentoring and access to networks and expertise.
UniSeed CEO and PERKii Chairman Dr Peter Devine said the grant helped to highlight the commercial potential of University research and entrepreneurship to the wider (Queensland) economy.
“This generous support gives PERKii the opportunity to investigate and develop further commercial avenues for the product,” Dr Devine said.
“We are thrilled to see PERKii’s success in the short time since its launch, and look forward to seeing it flourish through further product development and expansion nationally and internationally.”
Mr Pitt said PERKii is among 16 innovative Queensland businesses to receive Fund investment to date. The Fund has now invested a total of $16.5 million.
The $40 million Business Development Fund is part of the Palaszczuk Government’s $420 million Advance Queensland suite of programs designed to create knowledge-based jobs of the future.
The Fund makes investments ranging $125,000 up to $2.5 million, which must be at least matched by private sector co-investors, to assist businesses turn their ideas and innovations into commercial realities.
Media contact: Amy Hunter: 0437 961 831
Photo (left to right): PERKii CEO Matthew Kowal; Sunnybank MP Peter Russo, Treasurer Curtis Pitt; UniSeed CEO and PERKii Chairman Dr Peter Devine; Director – Innovative and Food Technologies Department of Agriculture and Fisheries David Poulsen