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SWAY Energy Corps - Sway Energy drink

swayenergydrink.com

Founded Year

2017

Stage

Acquired Unit | Acquired

About SWAY Energy Corps - Sway Energy drink

SWAY Energy Corps - Sway Energy drink is a unit of SWAY Energy Corps which is a beverage company focused on immunity boosting. It offers a range of drinks such as mango energy drinks, passion fruit energy drinks, strawberry energy drinks, lemon lime energy drinks and more. The company was founded in 2017 and is based in Beverly Hills, California. In December 2022, SWAY Energy Corps - Sway Energy drink was acquired by Golden Grail Technology. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Headquarters Location

9100 Wilshire Blvd

Beverly Hills, California, 90212,

United States

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Latest SWAY Energy Corps - Sway Energy drink News

The cricket star, the drinks founder and a deal turned bitter Supermarket pricing and power under a spotlight Dan Murphy’s owner...

Jan 5, 2024

Share Raj Beri was making his case. On board a super yacht part-owned by former Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke, the western Sydney drinks entrepreneur was speaking to about 30 potential investors as they floated around Sydney Harbour for a Christmas party. Streaming in from his US base on an early December evening in 2021, the New Delhi-born, the then-chief executive of western Sydney start-up Australian Boutique Spirits (ABS) wanted investors to put cash into a business that made and distributed brands such as Australian Bitters Company, Twisted Shaker cocktails, Cheeky Espresso Martinis and Drummerboy non-alcoholic spirit. Cocktails, champagne and canapés with Clarke and his celebrity accountant friend Anthony Bell were all part of the pitch to investors. And the event, co-hosted by the company’s adviser, JB Advisory, delivered a payoff when a handful of guests invested a total of a few hundred thousand dollars in the drinks business. Raj and Elizabeth Beri at the Elegance Brands 2020 Shareholder Event in Miami Beach. Rommel Demano/BFA.com According to multiple industry sources and ABS investors in the company now called Innovation Beverage Group, Beri thinks of himself as a mover and shaker. He is a keen poker player who likes to fly in private jets. He is married to a former Miss Pennsylvania beauty queen. And he loves rubbing shoulders with celebrities. But behind the glamorous image, the reality is that many of his deals have ended in disputes with partners, costly legal action, and a trail of ruined relationships. In September 2022, Beri was given a 10-year ban from managing companies or serving on boards in the United States for his alleged part in promoting a fraudulent investment scheme . ABS’s deal with Clarke to promote the fledgling drinks business had also descended into a legal stoush, though that has since been settled. Less than six months after his ban, the Beris sold their waterfront home at Admiral’s Cove in Jupiter, Florida, for nearly $US10 million, according to US property website The Real Deal. Images of the unfinished property on sales website Zillow show it still being worked on when photos for the listing were taken. This luxury enclave is not far from Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago, and is known for its exclusive golf club and waterfront mansions. Niether Clarke nor Raj Beri responded to numerous requests for comment. Advertisement Despite this, and having abandoned a bid to list on the ASX, IBG is now hoping to join the Nasdaq. Working with its third US-based investment bank in just 12 months, IBG is hunting for millions of fresh funds from local investors, after already raising millions. But securing money appears to be getting harder. Just two months ago, IBG was embarking on a crowdfunding campaign on equity crowdfunding platform Birchal, aiming to raise $3 million at $6.30 per share, according to a shareholder letter obtained by AFR Weekend. A fresh promotional video was even made by Clarke. But when AFR Weekend questioned the platform about Raj Beri and any of his continued links with the Australian drinks company, IBG suddenly disappeared. Who is Raj Beri Amit Raj Beri was born in New Delhi in 1977. According to Beri, his father Anil, mother Meena and younger brother Sahil migrated to Australia “with a few thousand dollars and four suitcases in the early 1990s”, he told CEO Magazine in 2021. Beri and his brother grew up in western Sydney and the family built a business owning and operating petrol stations. Raj Beri, founder and CEO of Elegance Brands, was banned by the SEC for 10 years. In 2020, the serial entrepreneur told Authority Magazine, which is published on Medium, he started his first company while at university (he later dropped out), and by 2005 had a successful business developing luxury homes. After working on a beverage company as a “passion project”, he says he got into the industry more seriously after the Global Financial Crisis “decimated” the property business. Advertisement Beri has described himself as a “semi-professional poker player” and says he got a break on a trip to Las Vegas when he saw people drinking frozen cocktails. “I was living in Australia at the time, which is culturally similar to the US, with tons of young people looking for the next trend,” he told Authority Magazine. “I noticed that no one was doing frozen alcoholic drinks in Australia, so I created a brand called Cocktail House, and it quickly became a success.” Beri started a business selling slushies, slushy machines and coffee makers, and installed them in the family’s petrol stations. That led to making canned alcoholic slushies to sell to bars around Australia. According to a January 2020 investor slide deck for another of Beri’s companies, Elegance Brands (now called Sway Energy), Cocktail House secured more than 500 accounts, including major casinos Crown in Melbourne, The Star in Sydney, and Jupiter’s on the Gold Coast. The presentation lists the late US TV icon Larry King and famed investor Jim Rogers as advisers to the board. Beri sold Cocktail House to Brown-Forman in 2014, after previously partnering with the Jack Daniel’s owner with a frozen JD-and-coke product. Beri continued to manufacture the slushies in western Sydney. Around this time, he set up a new Seven Hills manufacturing plant, where IBG currently operates its distillery. Now 47, Beri has traded the digs of Sydney’s north-west Hills District for the US after marrying the 2015 Miss Pennsylvania, Elizabeth Cardillo. The pair met on a dating app when Beri was visiting Los Angeles from Sydney. He proposed on Cardillo’s 28th birthday, on the Greek island of Mykonos. The 2019 wedding was a lavish, three-day Punjabi-American affair at the ARIA Casino and Resort in Las Vegas. The multiple wedding gowns, 14 bridesmaids and eight-deck cake featured in Wedding Style Magazine. By then, Beri had already co-founded his key money spinner, Australian Bitters Company – IBG’s biggest asset. Advertisement In 2013, Beri and Ian Kingham founded Australian Bitters. The pair, along with Raj’s father Anil, pitched the product idea to John Murphy, a former executive of bottler Coca-Cola Amatil. In 2014, a deal with CCA was penned for the manufacturing and distribution of Australian Bitters. A deal was signed with Beri’s entity,Europa International. Today, IBG sells most of its bitters products to Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, and the balance is exported. Bitters is a highly profitable category with a gross profit margin of about 80 per cent, according to a 2023 IBG investor deck. Kingham and Beri fell out over this deal and a year later Kingham started his own manufacturing business. In 2016, Beri’s Europa sued for misuse of intellectual property, but ultimately lost to Kingham and two other former Europa employees, and was ordered to pay their costs. Justice Robert McDougall was unimpressed and in his judgment described Beri as “a totally unsatisfactory witness”. “It became clear in the course of Mr Beri’s cross-examination that, putting matters at their most favourable, he had been prepared to swear to matters in his affidavit that were not true and that he could not possibly have thought were true had he given even a moment’s consideration to them,” Justice McDougall wrote. Huge legal bill An IBG spokesman said Europa initiated the proceedings to protect its business from having its confidential and commercially sensitive information exploited, and claimed the ex-employees set up competing companies while still working at Europa. “When it came to protecting Europa’s manufacturing processes from being used elsewhere ... this claim was unsuccessful, and Europa was ordered to pay the defendants’ costs of that part of the proceedings only. This was all settled.” Europa was facing a huge legal bill. After exhausting appeals, the group was collapsed in early 2018. But if there was any sign of Beri being humbled by the experience, he wasn’t showing it. Advertisement Europa’s fight over Kingham’s costs had not been resolved when, on April 20, 2018, Beri registered a new company – Australian Boutique Spirits. By July that year, the Coca-Cola Amatil contract was transferred to ABS. On September 26, a liquidator was appointed to Europa. The liquidator raised questions about the sale price of its assets to the newly formed IBG and the distribution of the sale proceeds. Of the $626,000 paid for Europa’s assets – the most valuable being the Australian Bitters deal with Coca-Cola Amatil – the liquidator found in his December 2018 report that $454,218 was “likely paid to related parties’ bank accounts after the sales proceeds were received by the company”. A review of Europa’s financial data showed the related-party payments were recorded as loans due from related parties. An IBG spokesman said figures quoted in AFR Weekend’s queries about the sale price and related party loans did not look accurate. Court records state the liquidator had trouble serving people involved in Europa for examinations. A settlement was reached after the liquidator failed to secure funding to pursue investigations and ultimately left remaining creditors with 15¢ to 25¢ in the dollar. There were no court judgements related to the circumstances of Europa’s collapse. Beri’s Europa business might have been dead, but he was moving on. In 2019, he developed plans for ABS to find its way onto the Canadian Stock Exchange via a complex reverse takeover of a shell company called Lifestyle Global Brands. According to a 2019 investor slide deck, he had moved heavily into cannabis-infused drinks with CannHealth Group. He told Australian media that year: “It’s actually two Australian companies we’re listing in Canada– Australian Boutique Spirits and CannHealth.” But the plans would ultimately go up in smoke; CannHealth joined Europa in liquidation. Clarke pads up Michael Clarke was three months into a lucrative ambassador deal with IBG when he took potential investors out on the boat Ghost on that warm summer night in 2021. But it wouldn’t be long before the relationship between the cricketer – who grew up in the western Sydney suburb of Liverpool – and the drinks company would sour. Advertisement For Clarke, it must have looked like easy money. In the first year of a three-year deal, he would be paid about $125,000 for posting on social media and attending virtual events to help drive sales at IBG’s direct to consumer online platform, BevMart. If the deal rolled over to a second year, Clarke’s fee would double if IBG achieved more than $3 million in sales in the first year at BevMart. A screenshot showing Michael Clarke in a promotional video for Innovation Beverage Group on the Birchal equity crowdfunding platform. Clarke started posting pictures making cocktails, tagging #Bevmartau. It seemed to be a match made in heaven: celebrity-obsessed Beri had a former Australian Test captain spruiking his brands, while Clarke was making some easy cash. Their strategic partnership was meant to complement the planned IPO on the ASX in the first quarter of 2022. But it started to get messy. IBG alleged that Clarke was not fulfilling his contract obligations and stopped paying him. In late 2022, letters of demand from Clarke’s lawyers for tens of thousands of dollars owed were sent to IBG. The situation got worse for Clarke early in 2023 when his argument with then-girlfriend Jade Yarbrough was filmed in Noosa. Before long, IBG had dumped him. AFR Weekend can reveal Clarke, via his personal business vehicle and family trust, filed a lawsuit in 2023 in Sydney’s local court against IBG for allegedly failing to pay him. Beri’s celebrity bromance, it seemed, was over. SEC comes knocking Advertisement In the US, Beri appeared to be flying high. With his beauty queen wife, new home being built in Florida, and position as CEO, founder and chairman of Elegance Brands, the company he set up after moving to the US in 2018. He was seen hosting shareholder events at the upmarket Faena Hotel in Miami Beach. Beri claimed the company had more than 10,000 investors, and the business of selling the Sway Energy drink and ready-to-drink vodka cocktail VOCO were going well. But by 2022, Beri was in trouble. The powerful US Securities and Exchange Commission, the corporate regulator, was investigating the way he promoted and sold $20 million of unregistered shares for his Elegance Brands via a newsletter run by analyst Jonathan Mikula. The articles were meant to be independent, but the SEC wasn’t buying it. Beri, Mikula and another associate, “took extensive steps to deceive investors and conceal that the promotions were paid for by, among other things, arranging for the issuers to enter into sham consulting agreements, submitting false invoices for illicit payments, and funnelling payments for the promotion through multiple parties and accounts, many of which were foreign”, the SEC complaint alleged. It alleged that “Mikula promoted the securities through Palm Beach Venture, a newsletter for which he served as an author and chief analyst, and presented the recommendations as unbiased and not paid for, while he was secretly compensated in the form of cash and lavish expenses”. Beri’s brother, Sahil, who is now chairman of IBG, was also named in the SEC court documents for his alleged role in a scheme where investors purchased $US80 million in securities of multiple companies, including Elegance Brands. Sahil allegedly “consulted” for a US-based company Emerald Health, also named in the SEC complaint. Court documents say between June 2020 and May 2021, Emerald Health paid the Beris $US1.7 million collectively ($1.6 million to Beri and $100,000 to his brother). Sahil previously was the executive director and chief technology officer at Sway Energy. Sahil Beri was not charged by the SEC for any wrongdoing. AFR Weekend is not alleging that he has participated in any illegal activity. The news wasn’t so good for Raj Beri. In September 2022, he agreed to a 10-year ban from serving as an officer and director, and from engaging in certain marketing activities after the SEC charged him, and others, with fraud. He and his co-conspirators agreed to pay “a total of $US2.5 million to settle the fraud charges against them”. Advertisement An IBG spokesman said Raj Beri settled the SEC matter without any conviction and without “admitting or denying any allegations”. He said this had no relevance to IBG, adding the company had a majority, independent board, with independent officers in its CEO, CFO and CCO. “The business has since gone on to hire numerous personnel, grow and launch new innovative brands and products, and continue to thrive,” the company spokesman said. “Sahil Beri was not charged by any regulator in the US or Australia.” IBG’s Australian Bitters. IBG says Raj Beri has not been involved with Sway Energy since his resignation in September 2022. However, Sway Energy is a customer of IBG, “with standard business agreements in place”. Publicly, Raj Beri removed himself as CEO of IBG in February 2022. IBG’s draft prospectus states Beri does not own any shares in the company, having previously held 10 million. This remains true. However, documents filed with Australia’s corporate regulator from July 2021 show Beri sold 4 million of his shares to his mother Meena and 1 million to his brother Sahil – IBG’s chairman – for a combined $300. An updated shareholding list in the prospectus shows Meena Beri now owns 1.5 million shares, or 18.5 per cent, in IBG, while Sahil Beri owns 617,284 shares, or 7.6 per cent. The updated listing reveals almost 2 million shares, or 24.6 per cent of the company, are owned by an entity 114 Assets Inc. These shares are indirectly held by a Bahamas-based trust which is beneficially owned by Raj Beri’s wife, Elizabeth, and their young son. IBG defended the move, saying Raj Beri was no longer a shareholder, admitting these shares were placed into trusts in April 2022, but noted the trustees appointed were not Beri family members. “The trust that holds shares where Mr Raj Beri’s wife and child are beneficial owners, has a trustee who controls the absolute voting rights and dispositive control of the shares. The trusts are also irrevocable trusts which ensures there is genuine separation between Mr Raj Beri and the company,” IBG said. Advertisement IBG also defended the full independence of director Sally Cardillo, who is Raj Beri’s mother-in-law. She joined in April 2022, just as Beri resigned. IBG’s prospectus states, “there are no family relationships among our directors and executive officers”. This is despite Sahil Beri, Raj’s younger brother, being chief operating officer and chairman. IBG leaned into the Nasdaq’s definition of “family member”, noting Sahil Beri and Sally Cardillo “are not in-laws of each other, and they do not share a home”. “IBG is being transparent, compliant, and open in sharing information and answering media questions. In fact, on multiple occasions, Mr Sahil Beri reached out to The Australian Financial Review offering to answer questions, and has provided comprehensive overviews for this article,” the spokesman says. Try and try again Back in Australia, IBG was still trying to raise money. In late October, it appeared on equity crowdfunding platform Birchal with a stated aim of raising $3 million at $6.30 per share. But the pitch came with a surprise – a picture of Michael Clarke, sitting on boxes of IBG drinks. Clarke, who had been suing IBG, featured on Nine’s A Current Affair promoting Australian Bitters, his first media appearance since the infamous public argument in Noosa. When ACA journalist Simon Bouda asked him about the Noosa incident, Clarke replied: “No ... listen … I’m here to talk about lemon, lime and bitters.” His approach to A Current Affair to talk up IBG’s flagship brand came soon after Beri flew into town for Sahil’s lavish wedding at The Lodge at Jamberoo, on the South Coast of NSW. The interview left people scratching their heads. Why would Clarke return to the public limelight seemingly unprepared for the obvious questions about his Noosa incident? For IBG, however, the timing was perfect. People were talking about the brand just as the company aimed to raise more money from local investors ahead of its planned US listing, according to one investor who wished to remain anonymous. Clarke’s lawyers – Bell Partners Legal – did not respond to AFR Weekend’s request for comment. An IBG spokesman said IBG and Clarke and his entities had “settled this matter with no payments outstanding”. Advertisement “The company has no current engagements with Michael Clarke as a brand ambassador,” it said. While all this was unfolding, multiple sources said that despite no longer being CEO or involved publicly with the company, Raj Beri was the person pulling the strings in the background, including smoothing things over with Clarke. Then on October 30, IBG disappeared off Birchal. The platform’s CEO, Matt Vitale, confirmed “it is not uncommon for companies to stop the process at EOI (expression of interest) stage. I can’t comment further on the specifics of why IBG is not proceeding.” IBG posted a new draft prospectus with the SEC in late October. The drinks company is targeting a September 2024 listing, its investor update says. It says Raj Beri is not running IBG. “Mr Raj Beri is not in any way involved in the running of IBG or any decisions. Mr Raj Beri resigned from IBG as CEO on February 24, 2022 and from its board on April 29, 2022, and the business has always been completely unassociated with his personal dealings,” an IBG spokesman said. “IBG has no relevance to Mr Raj Beri’s business matters. To indicate otherwise is false and fallacious.” Ace in the hole? IBG has big aspirations to quickly expand its portfolio of brands in North America, recently telling investors it could break even in the 2023 calendar year – all while eyeing a coveted Nasdaq listing. Investors are watching closely. One says people gravitate to Raj Beri, who is always hustling, and is well-connected. (Entities associated with the late real estate billionaire Samuel Zell control 7.44 per cent of IBG, according to its prospectus). Advertisement Despite the lack of success on the IPO so far, the investor remains sanguine. “He somehow always finds someone to invest. He has that hustle. The business premise of home cocktails makes sense,” he says. Another investor is far more critical. “[Raj] thinks if he raises enough capital and awareness, sales will come, and he will have the next Kylie Cosmetics. He compares himself to the Kardashian-Jenners constantly and thinks he can achieve what they did if he just had enough publicity and capital.” As for Raj Beri, he believes that strategy is the most important aspect of any poker game. “Gamblers lose in the long run, but poker players with a defined strategy win in the long run,” he told The CEO Magazine in 2021. “The same applies in business: you can take short risks, which may not work out in the short term, but with a defined vision and strategy as an entrepreneur with resilience and hunger, you will win in the long run.” Investors are hoping he’s right. Save

SWAY Energy Corps - Sway Energy drink Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • When was SWAY Energy Corps - Sway Energy drink founded?

    SWAY Energy Corps - Sway Energy drink was founded in 2017.

  • Where is SWAY Energy Corps - Sway Energy drink's headquarters?

    SWAY Energy Corps - Sway Energy drink's headquarters is located at 9100 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills.

  • What is SWAY Energy Corps - Sway Energy drink's latest funding round?

    SWAY Energy Corps - Sway Energy drink's latest funding round is Acquired Unit.

  • Who are the investors of SWAY Energy Corps - Sway Energy drink?

    Investors of SWAY Energy Corps - Sway Energy drink include Golden Grail Technology.

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