South African Spirits Brand, Spearhead Receives $3M Investment

With this investment, South Africa's Spearhead will build on the brand’s commitment to bringing African distilled and bottled spirits to the world’s bar.

With this investment, South Africa’s Spearhead will build on the brand’s commitment to bringing African distilled and bottled spirits to the world’s bar.

To help get their products into bars throughout the world, award-winning African spirits company Spearhead has raised $3 million in investment from venture capital firm Pendulum.

Co-founded in 2021 by businessmen Chris Federick and Damola Timeyin from the UK, Spearhead is a multi-award-winning company with a broad clientele that specializes in high-end products. The business was founded to address the cultural foundation and the underrepresentation of Africans in the spirits sector.

Vusa Vodka and Bayab Gin, two of their award-winning Premium African Spirits, are handcrafted entirely from ingredients found in Africa and showcase the continent’s exquisite craftsmanship and originality.

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

The investment signifies the company’s entry into a wider international market and enables them to provide their distinctive flavours and smells at bars all around the world.

According to Chris Frederick, CEO & Co-founder of Spearhead, “With a dearth of Black-owned African Spirits brands exported globally, we have made it our mission to link the globe to Africa through our spirits. By producing our brands on the African continent, we are able to demonstrate to the world that [Africa] is a resource-rich continent with products that can compete on the global stage in taste, quality, and innovation. Our brands not only increase diversity and challenge cultural bias in the sector. We will be able to share our vision with the world because to Pendulum’s funding, and we are incredibly happy about our cooperation and their support of this endeavour and the potential of Africa.

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,” say, Robbie Robinson, Co-Founder and CEO, and Helen Wang, Senior Associate, of Pendulum. “We are beyond thrilled to collaborate with Spearhead and its founders, Chris and Damola, to tell the narrative of a platform that is genuinely unique and aspires to honour and represent the diaspora. With this investment, we’re also excited to work with longtime industry veterans Kenny Burns and Donae Burston to help Spearhead expand and enter the U.S. market.

With 35,000 units sold since its launch to market in 2021, Spearhead is a pioneering, Black-owned African spirits company with a global reach. Spearhead has amassed accolades and on-trade accounts from London to New York, with a pipeline of new launches to come, including a much-anticipated rum and limited-edition flavoured lines, later this year.

Spearhead will also be joined by a group of strategic partners, including Kenny Burns, lifestyle specialist and long-time 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.

About Spearhead’s Brands

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 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

D’Rita and Robbie Robinson created the strategic investing platform Pendulum in 2019. Through its investment arm, Pendulum Opportunities, and strategic advising arm, Pendulum Partners, the firm seeks to accelerate opportunity and value creation for founders and leaders of colour.

Pendulum Opportunities invests in high-growth businesses meeting the changing demands of the future, the values-driven consumer. For more information, visit

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