Vermont Business Magazine Lost Lantern, the award-winning independent bottler of American whiskey that launched its first whiskies in late 2020, announced a $1 million oversubscribed seed financing round to expand its marketing reach and further invest in its Vermont headquarters. Backers include FreshTracks Capital, the Vermont Seed Capital Fund, the Dudley Fund, and the Burlington Telecom Innovation Fund, as well as a group of independent angel investors.
Lost Lantern was founded by spirits industry veterans Nora Ganley-Roper and Adam “Apolon” Polonski. Ganley-Roper served as Sales Manager of Astor Wine and Spirits in New York, one of the country’s largest independent retailers of fine whiskeys, while Polonski was an editor and Senior Whiskey Specialist at Whisky Advocate, where he wrote about and reviewed some of the world’s best whiskies. Together, they are pioneering a new business model in craft spirits, adapted from a long tradition in Scotch whiskey called independent bottling. Lost Lantern finds and sources the most unique and exciting whiskies being made across the country. The company partners with Village Garage Distillery in Bennington to store and bottle its whiskies, which are released as single casks and blends with full transparency on their origin. Each new whiskey offering is limited in quantity, and many sell out within hours of being announced.
“I had the great pleasure of coaching Lost Lantern’s founders in the LaunchVT Accelerator Program last year, and I knew right away that Nora and Apolon were on to something big, and that they also had exactly the right experience and skill-set to build this incredible business,” commented T.J. Whalen, Managing Director at FreshTracks Capital. “I was not at all surprised when they won the LaunchVT demo day pitch competition’s Audience Choice Award. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to have FreshTracks Capital invest in the company and to help them on their journey to create another great business here in Vermont.”
Lost Lantern’s luxury whiskies are earning high praise from whiskey connoisseurs and critics. Their flagship American Vatted Malt was named the ‘Best American Blended Malt’ at the 2022 World Whiskies Awards, and Lost Lantern recently received Double Gold and Gold medals for whiskies at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. In addition, Lost Lantern’s innovative adaptation of the Scotch independent bottler model has been covered by top media outlets including the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Forbes, Wine Enthusiast, and many others.
“As a Vermont native myself, it’s exciting to see so many investors in Vermont get involved and join our vision to create this new business model for American whiskey,” said Lost Lantern’s co-founder, Nora Ganley-Roper “We are humbled by the level of community support in Vermont, and the national recognition our products are receiving. Of course, we also couldn’t do it without the support and partnership with so many of America’s best distilleries!”
Lost Lantern’s co-founder, Apolon, added, “While Nora has a background in startup operations and finance, neither of us had raised capital before, and I’m thrilled that doing so in Vermont was such a positive experience–not just because we successfully oversubscribed our round, but because we met deeply knowledgeable and experienced investors and executives who are happy to share their expertise with us and are excited to help a new Vermont business expand and grow.”
Lost Lantern will release its next single cask whiskey offering in early June. For more information, visit lostlanternwhiskey.com.
About Lost Lantern: Founded by Nora Ganley-Roper and Adam Polonski, Lost Lantern is an independent bottler of American whiskey. Inspired by the long tradition of independent bottlers in Scotland, the company seeks out the most unique and exciting whiskies being made across the country and releases them as single casks and blends, always with a deep commitment to transparency. The company was founded by Nora Ganley-Roper & Adam “Apolon” Polonski, and is headquartered in Vermont.
About FreshTracks Capital: Founded in 2001, FreshTracks Capital is a Vermont-focused investment fund that uses venture capital to create positive economic and community impacts. Across its five funds, which total more than $50 million, FreshTracks has invested in approximately 50 Vermont-based companies. The firm’s General Partners and Managing Directors are T.J. Whalen, Cairn Cross and Lee Bouyea. FreshTracks is actively investing out of its early-stage fund, FreshTracks Capital IV, and its Growth Fund.
Weybridge and Burlington, VT (May 2, 2022) – Lost Lantern