Endeavour goes live with crowd equity campaign

Following its October announcement that it would launch an equity crowdfunding campaign, Endeavour Brewing Co today went live with its public brew raise.

An Australian first, beer enthusiasts will have the opportunity to buy shares in the Sydney outfit for $1 a share, with a minimum buy-in of 100 shares.

Located in Sydney’s historic The Rocks precinct, Endeavour’s two-year-old brewpub operation is due for expansion.

With a target of $2.3 million, the campaign will fund an “aggressive expansion” by Endeavour to move all beer production in-house. Endeavour also hopes to open several other brew bars as well as seek export opportunities to southeast Asia and beyond.

Endeavour founder and CEO Ben Kooyman said that he has been “keenly awaiting” the latest equity crowdfunding legislation to pass in Australia.

The latest amendment to The Corporations Amendment (Crowd-sourced Funding for Proprietary Companies) Act 2018 (Cth) received Royal Assent on September 21 and took effect on October 19.

This legislation now permits both public and privately listed proprietary limited companies in Australia to participate in crowdfunding campaigns.

The amendment, Kooyman said, really accelerated Endeavour’s ambition to get everyday Australians “onboard the good ship Endeavour” as fully-fledged shareholders of the business.

“It’s exciting times for us from a business perspective,” Kooyman told Brews News yesterday.

“We’ve spent a fair bit of time over the past 12 months assessing where we want to go.

“We’ve made a decision to look at capital raising through an equity crowdfunding platform that’s new to Australia.”

Endeavour has partnered with online equity crowdfunding platform Equitise, which is only one of seven platforms licenced in Australia.*

Kooyman said that equity crowdfunding is exactly like it sounds.

“It’s getting equity into the business – anyone with as little as $100 can invest and get the same shares as the ones me, [and co-founders] Dan and Andy own.”

“We are giving rewards as well, depending on the level of investment, so that’s a nice bit of upside.

“But from the pure investment side of things, for every dollar they invest into Endeavour Beverages, which is the registered company, they get a full ordinary share and are part of the team.”

Having successfully raised funds through friends and family when it launched in 2010, Kooyman said that bringing on more investors is “an amazing opportunity for us as a company to have some really engaged ambassadors”.

“We want people who appreciate a good beer and feel like they’ve got something in return to supporting the brand.

“It opened up a whole new world for us, we had people approach us, high networth individuals and private equity firms, but we decided to engage with the crowd and the public and get them as fully-fledged shareholders.

“We just thought we’d relish that opportunity to create a national footprint of shareholders so that people can then hopefully share the beer with their mates or associates and we can really spread the word about all Australian beer, which Endeavour the brand really prides itself on.

Kooyman said that the motivation behind a crowdfunding campaign was to maintain liquidity for the company’s shareholders rather than a three-year exit strategy private equity approach.

“We’d much prefer to engage directly with our consumers and get them in as shareholders than I guess what they’d call a couple of suits around the board.”

Kooyman said that Endeavour Beverages is valued at just over $15 million.

Endeavour’s campaign follows the successful crowdfunding efforts of International brewery behemoth BrewDog. Most recently, BrewDog raised through its Equity for Punks crowdfunding program a huge £26.2 million – approximately AUD$46.2 million – from around 50,000 investors.

Australia’s Black Hops Brewery has also announced plans to launch an equity crowdfunding campaign with a buy-in of just $50.


*Figure as at October 30, 2018.

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