If the rapid proliferation of those pastel-striped dispensaries of froyo-like dessert-substance Pinkberry reminds you of a twin-tailed mermaid infestation of a decade before, you aren't the only ones, as Fortune today reports that Starbucks founder Howard Schultz has made a sizable investment in the tangy softserve outfit:
Red-hot frozen yogurt chain Pinkberry has received a $27.5 million infusion of cash from Starbucks founder Howard Schultz's venture capital firm, Fortune has learned.
The deal, which will be announced later today, confirms long-held speculation that Seattle-based Maveron - whose prior investments include eBay, drugstore.com, and Good Technology, now owned by Motorola - sees a bright future for Pinkberry, which was launched two years ago by a failed restaurateur and a former nightclub bouncer.
Schultz was not available to comment, but in a press release touting the deal he called Pinkberry founders Shelly Hwang and Young Lee "visionary entrepreneurs" and labeled their brand "a cultural phenomenon."
The implication, as if we didn't see this one coming, is that L.A.'s dirty little double-parking secret is a Fruity Pebble away from toppling over into critical mass, whereupon they'll surely adopt the same Synergistic Rollout tactics that managed to blanket the country in a sea of green and brown, and rendered, "Would you like to Venti that for 49 cents more?" the new upselling mantra of an over-caffeinated generation. Resistance, as they say, is futile: The Swirly Goodness has landed.