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Crowdfunding boosts NZ brewer

June 3, 2015
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renaissanceNew Zealand’s Renaissance Brewing has reported a 40 per cent boost in revenue off the back of a successful equity crowdfunding initiative last year.

In August 2014 Renaissance became the first New Zealand company to equity crowdfund. Part of its agreement with the new shareholders was that it would provide a unaudited financial and strategic overview at the end of financial year.

For the 12 months to March 2015, Renaissance posted an operating profit of $225,000 on revenue of $1.835 million, at a gross margin of 42.3 per cent.

This was above the expectations and forecast Renaissance provided in its Information Memorandum (IM) at the time of crowdfunding on the Snowball Effect platform.

Renaissance chairman Gareth Lyne said the company had worked hard to over-deliver on its financial objectives in the first year it had been required to set targets and publish results to its broader ownership base.

“The board of directors took huge rigour in ensuring that the numbers we projected were an achievable challenge for our staff,” he said.

“They [the staff] have done a fantastic job in achieving this goal, especially the effort that has gone into seeding our newly opened export markets in Japan and Finland.”

Renaissance’s full-year result is more than a 20 per cent increase on revenue in the previous financial year, while the half-year result from October 2014 to March 2015 was 40 per cent above the previous corresponding period.

Brian Thiel, founder and CEO, said: “The Snowball Effect crowdfunding provided us with the shot in the arm we required to get things cranking, the 40 per cent growth since we did it is testament to this.”

Renaissance in new crowdfunding effort
The crowdfunding campaign raised $700,000 for Renaissance, with 300 investors buying a combined stake in the company of about 12.3 per cent.

They receive benefits including free and discounted beers, as well as exclusive access to limited edition products and an annual shareholder event.

The shareholders will not receive any dividends for the first three years, with retained earnings to be invested back into the company in accordance with its ‘long term growth policy’.

According to media reports, Renaissance is now planning a second round of crowdfunding, with a similar amount targeted to fund sales representatives in export markets and brewery expansion.

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