scorecardCirkul, a water bottle brand that went viral on TikTok — and became a top-seller at Walmart — is now worth $1 billion
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Cirkul, a water bottle brand that went viral on TikTok and became a top-seller at Walmart — is now worth $1 billion

Avery Hartmans   

Cirkul, a water bottle brand that went viral on TikTok — and became a top-seller at Walmart — is now worth $1 billion
Retail2 min read
Catherine Falls Commercial/Getty Images
  • Cirkul, which makes a TikTok-famous water bottle, is now valued at $1 billion.
  • The brand makes inexpensive flavor cartridges that get inserted into a proprietary water bottle.

Early last year, a water bottle went viral on TikTok. Now, the company that makes it is valued at $1 billion.

Cirkul, a 4-year-old beverage startup, announced a $70 million funding round Monday that sent its valuation soaring more than 500%. The brand owes its success to fan videos posted online, which led to its water bottles getting stocked on Walmart shelves in April, Bloomberg reported.

Cirkul's founder and CEO, Garrett Waggoner, told Bloomberg that the idea for the company came to him while he was a college football player trying to pour messy flavor powders into water bottles. With Cirkul's system, you fill up your bottle with water, then insert a flavor cartridge and adjust the flavor intensity — no mess required.

Cirkul offers more than 50 flavors, which range from mango grapefruit to vanilla iced coffee. One cartridge will flavor multiple bottles of water before needing to be replaced, the company says.

In that way, Cirkul has positioned itself as a sustainable alternative to canned seltzer or bottled water. The company says it uses 84% less plastic than single-use plastic bottles, and touts the reusability of its cartridges — on average, each holds enough flavor for six bottle refills — as being "fun and convenient for folks to enjoy water in their way and also do a good thing for the planet," Waggoner told Bloomberg.

Cirkul videos currently have 1.2 billion views on TikTok, and Bloomberg reports that since launching at Walmart, the brand has sold 1.5 million units and become one of the top performers in Walmart's home department.

Affordability may have something to do with it: a 22-ounce Cirkul bottle starts at $15, while the flavor cartridges — called sips — cost $3.75 apiece.

But Cirkul isn't the only startup that's tried to tap into the flavored water craze. LifeFuels, a smart water-bottle startup backed by Keurig Dr. Pepper, made a water bottle that dispensed sports-drink concentrates and retailed for $180. But the company shut down in late 2021 due to the pandemic's "crippling" impact, Washington Business Journal reported.

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