Australian craft retailer Beer Cartel’s equity crowd fund has so far raised over $1.3 million ahead of it closing at 10pm AEST tonight (July 15) .

At the time of this article being published, the crowd fund had garnered $1,333,694 from 959 investors who were able to purchase a share in the company for as little as $100. Beer Cartel had originally stated they were aiming to raise $1.5 million to finance their next stage of growth as they aim to become “the number one choice for those looking to get great beer delivered to their door”.

Speaking to Beer & Brewer today, Beer Cartel co-founder Richard Kelsey (pictured above, right) said it had been a “fantastic result so far” and basically “500 per cent overfunded” in terms of the raise’s $250,000 minimum target.

“One of the great things from all of this is the amount of investors that have come on board. It shows that people believe in what we represent and can see that there is a future in online retail as well. Obviously we’re having success at the moment because of COVID, but I think there are going to be a lot of opportunities for online retail outside of that and that is exciting.”

In terms of investors, Richard said a few had come on board with outlays of $10,000-plus while they ranged from current Beer Cartel customers – both through their online store and Sydney bottle shop – to individuals within the beer industry and friends and ex-colleagues.

“It’s been a pretty broad mix, but one of the things we’ve noticed is the skills some of them have. And some have been quite open about being able to help provide us with advice to grow the business in the future as well. It’s an added bonus… and another great thing is we now have over 900 people who are going to be fantastic advocates for us.”

Richard said the fact they had exceeded their expectations would mean the next few years would be “extremely busy” as they set about strategically capitalising on the opportunities this level of investment enables.

“We’ve got lots of work to do. In some respects we’ve kicked a lot of that off already so it’s a matter of accelerating those things. But it’s a matter of how we best apply the money. We’re not going to have a willy-nilly approach. We want to be quite strategic in how we roll everything out so it’s based on growing and applying it as we’ve got capacity and as we build that capacity out.”

The 1.5 litre magnum of Cantillon that Richard and fellow co-founder Geoff Huens (pictured above, left) set aside to celebrate with will have to remain on ice for now however.

“Being Sydney-based and currently in lockdown it’s going to be a bit of a challenge to celebrate, so we’ll hold fire on it until we get a chance to get back together and mark it properly.”

Meanwhile, the other Australian beer industry crowd funds currently in play – from CoConspirators Brewing and Rebellion Brewing – have approximately a week left to run.

At the time this article was published, CoConspirators had raised $441,893 from 247 investors – or 88 per cent of their minimum target of $500,000. Their maximum is $1.5 million and the crowd fund expires on July 21.

Rebellion, the owners of gluten free brand O’Brien Beer, had raised $463,225 from 281 investors – or 92 per cent of their $500,000 minimum target. Their maximum is also $1.5 million and the crowd fund ends on July 22.

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