The Business Herald’s markets and banking reporter.

Craft beer brewer raises $2 million in two days

ParrotDog founders (from left) Matt Kristofski, Matt Stevens and Matt Warner.
ParrotDog founders (from left) Matt Kristofski, Matt Stevens and Matt Warner.

Wellington-based craft brewers ParrotDog have raised their maximum goal of $2 million after less than two days of crowdfunding.

ParrotDog will spend the money, raised on the PledgeMe website, to set up a new brewery in Lyall Bay.

Moving into this new space will enable ParrotDog to triple production and have their own on-licence bar.

ParrotDog's campaign, which began Wednesday afternoon, crashed the website and raised $1.2m from 420 backers in the first 12 hours, setting a record for the crowdfunding platform.

ParrotDog co-founder Matt Stevens said he was "excited" to get to the full $2million in just two days.

"Now it means we can execute our entire plan without any compromise or delay."

The company had been "a bit surprised" by the strength of demand for the offer.

"It's all going into new assets - the new brewery," Stevens said.

"We're ready to open the volume up and start charging and this is the capital we need to do so."

PledgeMe chief executive Anna Guenther said the uptake of the ParrotDog offer had been amazing.

"First they broke our website, and then they broke our records," Guenther said.

"With the launch of this campaign, we've now passed the $10 million mark pledged through the platform, and ParrotDog are now our largest funded campaign."

Having raised $2m - the maximum allowed under NZ equity crowdfunding law - the new "crowd investors" will hold a 16.8 per cent stake in the five-year-old brewing firm.

The firm reported revenue of $1.9m for the 2016 financial year and has forecast that to rise to $2.8m in 2017, $5.5m in 2018 and $9.3 million in 2019.

It posted a $156,000 loss for the 2016 year, forecast to widen to a $172,000 loss in 2017, before turning to a $100,000 profit in 2018, rising to $681,000 in 2019.

The company is issuing up to 2m shares at $1 each, with a minimum investment of $500 required.

ParrotDog backers who invest over $35,000 will receive shares with voting rights.

The firm's three founders - Stevens, Matt Kristofski and Matt Warner - will retain stakes of 26.3 per cent each in the business following the offer.

ParrotDog are the third brewery in New Zealand to equity crowdfund, and the only one to raise the $2million maximum allowed under the legislation.

An ANZ report into New Zealand's craft beer sector, released this week at around the same time as ParrotDog's offer began, found craft sales had surged 35 per cent in past year to more than $100 million.

But the report also flagged a number of challenges facing the industry, including fierce competition, limited retail space and manufacturing capacity restraints.

Close to 170 New Zealand breweries are now producing more than 1500 unique craft beers, according to the research.

Stevens said that while it was a highly competitive landscape, with a huge range of products on offer, supermarkets were increasing the amount of retail space available for craft beer.

ParrotDog sells its beer across New Zealand as well as Australia, where its products have been stocked in Coles supermarkets since February.

The firm also exports to Britain and Japan.

"Now that we're going to turn the tap on [with increased capacity] we'll start exploring a lot of other export markets," Stevens said.

The ANZ report found exports of New Zealand craft beer reached $4.5m in 2015, up from $1m five years ago.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter


© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf03 at 22 Oct 2016 22:23:03 Processing Time: 364ms