BrewDog extends equity campaign after sluggish start

BrewDog Brisbane outside

Having crept past the campaign’s minimum target, BrewDog Australia has extended its equity crowdfunding drive while raising the target and extending the offer to New Zealand.

The campaign, launched last December, was due to close yesterday but has now been extended to 31st March.

BrewDog had initially set a relatively modest $300,000 minimum target, with a maximum raise of $10 million. When it eventually met this minimum in mid-January, the Scottish brewery raised the target to $500,000. As of yesterday, it had managed to raise $475,000 from 742 investors.

The company has raised more than £73 million (AU$130 million) globally through similar campaigns, including £7.5 million in six weeks (AU$13 million) through a UK campaign late last year.

The high profile brewery’s campaign has appeared to progress more slowly than similar local crowdfunding campaigns including South-East Queensland’s Black Hops, which, in 2019, raised $400,000 from 545 investors in six days, hitting its $150,000 minimum in eight hours.

BrewDog Australia general manager Ed Bott told Brews News that the company didn’t know what to expect launching in Australia, but the campaign has been similar to what it experienced when launching in America.

“When we’re starting out in a country we’re not that well known yet and the first round is a little bit softer than we like,” he said.

“But we’re delighted people see promise in the business and 742 investors is the start of a community, and that’s what we want to start, that’s the most important piece to this.

“The money itself is secondary to the number of people. We want investors to be part of a community.”

Bott said the level of engagement “Equity Punks” have with the business is key.

“The more people who say they have a share in BrewDog, it’s like having the most loyal audience in the world,” he explained.

“They share it with their friends, they feel very proud, they give us feedback, we have our forums and communities.

“For me, 742 is great, of course, we would have loved 10,000 but it’s also hard to know where you’re going to land when you have never done this in a country like Australia before.”

The BrewDog campaign has enjoyed high levels of engagement on social media, though comments have been mixed and the brewery’s posts promoting the campaign have seen numerous negative comments removed.

In an email to investors yesterday, BrewDog announced it will be extending its investment offer into New Zealand, and will be communicating more news in relation to the expansion of the Australian business in the coming weeks.

“This offer extension will not effect your application or the timing of your access to shareholder benefits or the issuance of your BrewDog shares,” the email advised.

Bott confirmed that a fuller announcement would be made next week, including details of the businesses Australian expansion plans including details about the BrewDog Hotel and its first Australian bars.

Bott recently told the Beer is a Conversation podcast, saying that the Brisbane hotel would be located on vacant land adjacent to the Murrarie brewery. He also outlined potential plans to make better use of the DogTap venue’s proximity to the river but potentially building a mezzanine level to provide river views from the site.

Last year BrewDog launched its Brisbane-brewed Headliner range and last month advertised for its first Australian sales representative.

Listen to Ed Bott discuss the company’s expansion plans and more on the Beer is a Conversation podcast

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