An Oamaru-based whisky company has surpassed its $500,000 equity crowdfunding target and is seeking to raise a further $1.5 million.
The South Island company, New Zealand Whisky Collection, has extended its Pledge Me campaign until December 17 in the hopes of raising $2m. So far it has raised $560,000 from 214 investors.
New Zealand Whisky Collection began in 2010 when founder Greg Ramsay brought the remaining 443 barrels, or 80,000 litres, of maturing whiskey from the former Wilsons distillery in Willowbank, Dunedin.
Just 103 of the original 443 barrels are left today. Over the past four years the company had amassed more than 100 new barrels.
Ramsay told the Herald the money raised through the crowdfunding campaign would be used for production - to produce more bottles of whisky, and bring plans for a whisky museum to life.
"We'll be really happy if we hit $750,000-$800,000," he said.
"We've internally raised the money for the stills and also to fund a 50,000-litre production facility but our stills are only at a third capacity."
In 2013 the company hit $1m in revenue and as of this year has revenue of around $1.7m. It exports to Australia, Britain and Taiwan, and most recently Japan. It is also in discussions with three Chinese importers.
Around $50,000 of the crowdfunded money will be spent on creating the company's Dunedin museum, Ramsay said. It is on the look-out for a site for the museum, which is expected to open this time next year.
"We're looking to provide a virtual reality walk-through tour of an 18-19th century distillery ... which we know is going to be fascinating for a lot of people," Ramsay said of plans for the whiskey museum.
"What's so exciting about Dunedin is, as a tourist destination, it is really growing.
"Dunedin is such a gateway for the South, and [the plan is] to make this the hub of the whiskey trail."
New Zealand Whisky Collection's Pledge Me campaign is its first round of crowdfunding.
Ramsay said the potential for New Zealand's whisky market was huge. When he had the idea for the company back in 2009 there were just two active distilleries producing whisky.
"New Zealand certainly has the market capacity and consumer demand for at least 30 distilleries - probably 50 or more - working of different scale and size."