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Black-owned African Spirits Group Enters The US Market With The Help of Kenny Burns

Black-owned African Vodka and Gin has entered the chat! The Black-owned African spirits group Spearhead recently announced that it had raised $3 million. Funded by Pendulum, a strategic investment and advisory platform for founders and leaders of color, this investment marks the group’s entry into the U.S — which will further power the company’s next growth phase.

Following a reception for the brand in European markets, the funding will allow Spearhead to accelerate its global reach, introduce new product lines, and scale its marketing efforts.

The popular company was launched in March 2021 by co-founders Chris Frederick and Damola Timeyin. Since its success, Spearhead has become a multi-award-winning business with a growing portfolio of premium brands, including Bayab Gin and Vusa Vodka

Bayab Gin

Bayab Gin – Premium copper distilled gin from Africa. Distilled using Zambian Baobab from the Baobab ‘tree of life’ and bountiful African botanicals of juniper berries, coriander, rosemary, cinnamon, coarse salt, lemon peel, baobab and orange peel, it is then blended with the purest water, sourced from the Midlands Kwazulu- Natal. Bayab Gin is available to purchase from Reserve Bar and


Vusa Vodka – Premium copper distilled cane vodka from Africa. Distilled in small batches using a copper still gives it a silky smooth finish of exceptional quality. Vusa uses the sugarcane that grows naturally in the Kwazulu-natal subtropical climate making it a naturally sweet-tasting vodka and its unique filtration process uses the shells of the Baobab fruit to contribute to its crisp finish. Ideal for cocktails. Vusa Vodka is available to purchase from Reserve Bar and

After noticing a lack of diverse representation in the spirits category and a beverage that highlights Africa’s heritage and the quality and craft of the continent, Spearhead was born. “With a lack of Black-owned African Spirits brands exported globally, we have made it our mission to connect the world to Africa through our spirits,” said Frederick. “Pendulum’s investment will allow us to realize this vision globally; we are beyond excited about the partnership and their belief in this mission and the power of the African continent.”

The essence of Spearhead’s offering is a line of premium products with true African provenance, representing the best of the continent’s craft, vibrancy, and creativity in all corners of Africa. The spirits are distilled with bountiful local botanicals from across the continent, highlighting the unique flavors of many of Africa’s different terrains and countries.

 “The celebration of the African diaspora is alive and well in the U.S., and we believe this authentic enthusiasm translates meaningfully to the spirits category, where community and storytelling are central to any brand,” said Robinson.

Spearhead will also be joined by a group of strategic partners, including Kenny Burns, lifestyle specialist and longtime spirits industry executive with prior roles at CIROC and Grey Goose and equity stakes in Uncle Nearest and most recently Spearhead, and Donae Burston, founder and CEO of La Fete du Rose, the first entirely Black-owned rosé brand from St. Tropez, France. 

kenny burns
kenny burns

Aiming to continue to turn the dial towards fairer representation in the drinks market and redefine the industry for good, Spearhead will also continue its investment in community development across South Africa. In partnership with the organization uMthombo, the group will use this funding to help uMthombo get young people off the streets and provide them with life-skills training and a pathway to employment.

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