Scotland’s largest independent brewery - Fraserburgh-based BrewDog - has raised more than £1m of investment in less than two weeks through its unique online IPO, dubbed ‘Equity for Punks’.
Rather than approaching banks or a venture capital route for investment, BrewDog wanted its craft beer fans to shape the future of the business and the response has far outstripped initial expectations.
At the current pace of investment, the brewer will raise its target of £2.2m by the end of August, four months ahead of schedule.
Equity for Punks is fully accredited by the FSA and will fund the construction of a new low-carbon brewery to help BrewDog meet demand for its artisanal beers that already outstrips production.
James Watt, cofounder of Brewdog commented: “Reaching the million pound mark so quickly with Equity for Punks demonstrates that people are not only looking for an alternative to mass market beer; they are looking for an alternative way to invest their money, a way that bypasses banks, brokers and global mega corporations.
“BrewDog was always intended to spark a step-change in the evolution of the UK beer market, so we looked for a way to raise capital that looked to shake up finance in the same way.”
A major influence on the pace of investment has been social media, as thousands of craft beer fans rushed to promote the scheme to one another via Twitter and Facebook when Equity for Punks was announced.
BrewDog also utilised its influential social media profiles to spread the word beyond traditional media.
One investor who learned of the project via Twitter was blogger and community manager, Heather Taylor: “I think it’s important to invest in growing UK businesses, especially one bold enough to want to change their industry.
“The brand has an incredibly passionate following online, they make great beer and I can see this company expanding throughout the globe. It’s exciting to be given the opportunity to be part of that.”
Another investor, Robert Marshall from Suffolk commented: “The main reason to invest was to be part of the craft beer revolution.
“It will be amazing to go to the new brewery and have the knowledge that I played my own small part in making it happen.
“It will also be great going into a bar I own a part of and ordering a beer that has been brewed by the same company I have shares in. I would have invested much more if I could.”
The amount of money invested has varied greatly, from the minimum quantity of £95 to individual investments of £12,000.
Equity for Punks has also had international appeal, with current investors hailing from 9 different countries, including Sweden, Italy and Germany and has made 90,000 shares available to buy in £95 packages from the company’s website, BrewDog.com.
Potential investors can also download a comprehensive prospectus outlining BrewDog’s growth potential.