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When did the company start?

Dietrich Mateschitz founded the company Red Bull GmbH in 1984. GmbH is the German equivalent of a limited liability company. It stands for 'Gesellshaft mit beschrankter Haftung'. The company's origins, though, lie in the owner's time spent in Asia. He came across products known as 'tonic drinks' and saw the chance to market functional drinks outside Asia.

One of these tonics, which came from Thailand and was used by workers to stay awake during their shifts, was called Krating Daeng or 'Red Bull'. Mateschitz approached the manufacturers of the drink and bought the foreign licensing rights in exchange for a 51% stake in his company.

When Mateschitz launched the drink in his native Austria, he decided to target young professionals, rather than factory workers, as this younger segment of the population were more affluent and more appreciative of a trendy marketing campaign.

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