Chapel Down, the English winemaker, is going down the crowdfunding route to supplement a traditional City fundraising.
The company, which calls its crowdfunding backers “pilgrims”, said those who invest in the company will receive up to a 33% discount on its wines.
The company intends to up to £5.45mln via the equity crowdfunding, with up to 9.2mln shares available at 59.5p, with a further £1.43mln targeted via a traditional placing of shares at the same price.
The funds raised will enable the company to accelerate its growth plans. Chapel Down intends to scale up its winery operations, beef up its e-commerce platform and build up the brand in the UK and overseas.
The company also published its annual results today, which showed the company’s direct-to-consumer business thriving during the lockdown.
Wine sales volumes in 2020 were up 38% on 2019 with direct-to-consumer volumes up 467%.
Adjusted underlying earnings (EBITDA) for Chapel Down Wines and Spirits was up 76% at £1.608mln from £915,000 in 2019 but the group’s beer and cider business – Curious Drinks – was hit hard by the closure of the hospitality sector for large parts of the year, resulting in a group loss of £21,000, compared to a loss the year before of £1.24mln.
The loss before tax widened to £7.68mln from £4.29mln the year before, as a result of £6.68mln of exceptional costs relating to the disposal of its Curious Drinks business in April 2021.
“There has never been a more exciting time to be involved with English wines,” claimed Frazer Thompson, the chief executive officer of Chapel Down.
“There are still millions of consumers in the UK who have never experienced the surprise and delight of their first taste. We believe the potential is enormous.
“Chapel Down is the leading brand with a product proven over 20 years,” he added.
Investors wishing to back the Chapel Down business may do so via Seedrs, the crowdfunding site.