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Yaala Sparkling closes $125K deal on Shark Tank

2 min read
Yaala Sparkling

Yaala Sparkling, an Indigenous-owned business that creates unique, healthy and alcohol-free drinks made with real native ingredients sourced from Indigenous wild harvesters and local farmers, received a $125,000 investment offer from Dr Catriona Wallace during their appearance on Shark Tank last week. 

Yaala, means ‘the present moment’ in the Wiradjuri language, and co-founder Tara Croker believes in bringing the ancient knowledge of First Nations peoples, the culture, the land and the native plants to the present through their sparkling water infused with real native Australian botanicals. 

“My reason for investing in Yaala Sparkling is that the business and product fills a currently unmet need in the soft drink industry,” said Dr Catriona Wallace, an investor in Yaala Sparkling.  

“Indigenous-inspired and Australian native plant-flavoured sparkling water will be hugely successful, not only in Australia but internationally. The care, crafting and quality of these drinks is second to none and the entrepreneurs are exceptional. I have worked with many Indigenous-led businesses in the past and I am so thrilled to be teaming up with Mel and Tara to bring this business to scale”. 

Tara Croker, Co-Founder of Yaala Sparkling highlighted how thrilled they are to have Dr Catriona Wallace as an investor in Yaala.  

“Her deep knowledge and experience will be valuable in taking our business to its next stage of growth.” 

According to Croker, the rapidly growing native foods and botanicals industry is thought to be worth up to $50 million a year, and yet less than 2 per cent of businesses in the native food sector are Indigenous-owned.  

“Our mission with Yaala Sparkling is to establish an Indigenous-owned business in the native food industry and increase First Nations representation in the industry.” 

“At Yaala Sparkling we work with First Nations suppliers throughout our supply chain and business, including wild harvesters, local farmers, and artists. Any business using native plants and knowledge passed down over generations has a duty and responsibility to preserve traditional knowledge and invest back into the community”. 

Founded in early 2023, Yaala already secured Australian liquor store Dan Murphy’s as a retailer. Yaala currently offers two flavours; Lemon Myrtle & Native Blossom and Davidson Plum & Waratah. Lemon Myrtle contains properties akin to a superfood, making it an essential ingredient for good health and Davidson Plum is one of the most nutritionally powerful native Australian fruits that has more lutein than avocado, more antioxidants than blueberries and 100 times the Vitamin C of an orange. 

“Yaala’s infused sparkling water is a healthy alternative to alcohol or soft drinks for any occasion as they are sugar-free and only use real native ingredients that are packed with benefits,” added Tara. 

Due to the win on Shark Tank, Tara will be in a better position to produce at scale and grow Yaala Sparkling nationwide, bringing native botanical-infused beverages to more Australian homes, parties and events. 

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Menchie Khairuddin is a writer Deputy Content Manager at Akolade and content producer for Third Sector News. She is passionate about social affairs specifically in mixed, multicultural heritage and not-for-profit organisations.


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