Yeastie Boys’ planned ‘conquest’ of UK begins with $500,000 raised from crowd in half an hour

Craftbrewer Yeastie Boys sets a new bar on how to raise money from the crowd with $500,000 raised within 30 minutes of its campaign being launched. What’s the secret of its success?

Yeastie Boys can easily write a guide book on how to raise $100,000 in four minutes. Yep, four minutes is what it took for the company to raise $100,000 from the crowd using PledgeMe’s crowdfunding platform.

Within 30 mins, Yeastie Boys had completed its crowdfunding campaign. It tapped $500,000 from the crowd and successfully divesting 12.5% of the company, at $1 per share, to begin its UK expansion, and later Europe.

Yeastie Boys is a six-year old company started by Stu McKinlay and Sam Possenniskie who each retain 39.37% of the company after the sale. 

Anna Guenther, chief bubble blower at PledgeMe told Idealog, the main reason for Yeastie Boys’ success is the fact the company has been “such connectors” and respected in the industry.

“They are have built their crowd over the past 6 years, and their crowd wanted to get on board. They did a great job of communicating with their crowd, including meet and greets in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland before the offer went live.”

Although the company had 770 people who had registered interest in the fund raising, potential investors had to wait for the campaign to go live on PledgeMe to buy shares.

“They had a lot of interest, but it all had to go through the platform and they weren't sure of who would come in with what. They had directed their fans towards a newsletter to get regular updates in the lead up to the launch though, so they knew they had 770 people who'd registered their interest.”

Guenther adds: “We are really impressed with Stu (co-founder) and the team’s efforts in putting the campaign together and activating their crowd. This is a great success for a New Zealand company with big ambitions.

“Yeastie Boys have really shown the benefits of harnessing your crowd and bringing them into the company. Not only do they now have the capital to expand into the UK, but they have 204 shareholders who will champion the brand.”

Yeastie Boys co-founder Stu McKinlay said he was floored by the support from their crowd.

“We couldn’t be more excited to have a whole new bunch of Yeastie boys and girls on board,” says McKinlay.

“It’s great to be able to immediately refocus on making beer and getting it to the people who love it. It’s why we’re here and why our crowd supported us.”

As with other crowdfunding campaigns, family, friends, fans, customers make up the bulk of Yeastie Boys’ investors. The largest investment was $50,000 (one pledger), followed by $30,000 (one pledger) while three people invested $20,000 each.

The rest of the investment profile:

  • $10,000-20,000  - five
  • $5,000-10,000- 16
  • $4,000-5,000 = five
  • $2,000-4,000 = 56
  • $1,000-2,000 = 48
  • $500-$1,000 = 77

Brewing locations, financials

The company says in its offer document that it plans to use the funds raised for its planned UK expansion. In NZ, Invercargill Brewery is its contract manufacturer. In the UK, it will be using Scottish craft brewer Brewdog – the fastest growing food and drink manufacturer in Britain over the last three years, it says.

A high-end forecast puts Yeastie Boys’ turnover at $5.96 million in 2018 (up from $666,000 currently), $3.98 million in 2017, and $2.62 million in 2016. Its best case scenario puts earnings before interest and tax at $45,000 in FY2016, growing to $352,000 in 2017, and $791,000 in 2018. The best case scenario is premised upon moderate growth with a successful UK market, a tender being won and retained in Scandinavia, and the company picking up of one or two other large European markets.

Shareholders invested in Yeastie Boys get a lifelong 10% shareholder discount on merchandise through the company’s online store (beer will be made available on its online store in the future).

Shareholders buying 2,000 to 19,999 shares receive (all of the above plus) get to go to the company’s annual brew day while shareholders of 20,000 or more shares receive a lifelong 20% shareholder discount on merchandise through our online store, among others.