Hey, I'm Dan! I invest in startups at Madrona and write the DL, a weekly newsletter about tech in the Pacific Northwest

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💧 Wait, what?

OK - so everyone is super pumped about Snowflake and the future of data in the cloud. But have you heard about this bottled water IPO? Nongfu Spring IPO-ed a couple weeks ago at a $50B market cap. And…


Nongfu’s founder, Zhong Shanshan, owns 84% of the company, a stake worth $42B. 🤯 That’s how much ALL of the investors in Snowflake made, and twice as much as the founders, executives, and employees combined.


If you’ve ever been to China, you’ve probably had Nongfu Spring, which is like the Dasani or Evian of China. Here’s a good summary on why this was such a hot deal:

  • Rising income and concerns about the safety of tap water are driving more people in China to drink bottled water
  • The average American drinks 141 liters of bottled water per year vs. 59 liters per person in China, so there is plenty of room for growth
  • Nongfu Spring has ~30% market share (largest competitor is 6.5%)


Now, Zhong Shanshan is now worth more than the founders of Alibaba and Tencent. Time to pivot from tech to bottled water startups!


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