Sydney’s Endeavour Brewing Co yesterday announced its plans to launch a crowdfunding equity campaign set to be an Australian brewery first.
The eight-year-old brewery has been looking for new ways to bolster the business and take it to its next phase of growth.
Founder Ben Kooyman told Brews News this morning that Endeavour has been a little “capital light” and that both himself and his two co-founders Andy Stewart and Dan Hastings, had been seeking new ways to build that capital.
“As you grow the growing pains get tougher and that’s why we definitely need more capital for the business.”
Kooyman said that while he hopes to raise up to $3 million by January, it’s unknown how long it might take because legislation to allow crowdfunding is so new in Australia.
Legalised in January 2018, Kooyman said Endeavour Brewing will be the first business to run a campaign such as this over Summer in Australia. The online equity crowdfunding platform Equitise, Kooyman has chosen to use, is only one of seven licensed crowdfunding platforms in Australia.
“In January this year, Australia passed legislation that crowd equity funding was available to any company,” Kooyman explained.
“And then a month ago, they bolstered that legislation by allowing private proprietary limited companies to participate.
“Prior to that you had to convert to a full public company, which added a lot of time, a lot of money and a lot of complexity in becoming a public company.
“The ability to stay as a proprietary limited company… just means we can save on the compliance side of things.”
“We had different options, globally we looked at more structured private equity investors, we looked at other partnerships, but when the crowd equity funding legislation revision came through a month ago, it was a no brainer.
“We’re really excited about it.”
For Kooyman, the crowdfunding route will ensure that ownership stays in Australia, building long term investment within the community.
The campaign kicked off yesterday, with expressions of interest available to all Australians to buy $100 shares in their own brewery.
With additional funding, the brewery business will continue to expand its domestic wholesale market, its hospitality business and seek new export opportunities in Asia.
Kooyman said that the brewery is also looking to launch another, more “left of centre” beer brand.
“Endeavour Brewing is all about elegance, balance and beers with flavour without challenged too much.”
“We’ve done a nice place for the foreseeable future on a few other things that we would like to put some resource towards.”
But underpinning all of this will be Endeavour’s first foray into a bigger brewery.
While the 6hl Spark brewhouse has serviced the Endeavour Taproom with some award-winning beers, Kooyman said that it was time to expand these “more seasonal” offerings as well as build a production facility that would allow Endeavour to cease contract brewing and brew all its beers in house.
“It is capital intensive, the beer business, and to build a high-quality brewery you don’t want to cut any corners.”