In this exclusive interview, director Charlotte Olivier told Food Manufacture why her business turned towards crowdfunding as opposed to more traditional options available on the market.
“The reason why we did crowd funding was because we have a lot of customers who are interested in our business and I think it gives them a chance to become part of it,” she explained. “We want to have people as part of the Napton Cider family that grow with us, give us ideas and keeps us going.
“It also raises finances without asking your bank and things like that – not having to ask for loans.”
£170k funding round
Napton’s latest funding round saw the producer sell more than £170,000 worth of shares in two months, exceeding their initial target of £40,000 by 400%.
While the business had certain goals and plans in mind, the amount of money that they secured allowed them to further fine tune the direction of the business – especially after Napton’s first crowdfunding campaign didn’t receive as much interest from potential buyers.
“This time around we did exceed what we wanted and so we put a lot of money into sales,” Olivier added. “So we took a lot of staff from this year and obviously, produce more cider.
“It's just that I would say you have to change your plans all the time – over all they may stay the same but it’s how you get to that point.”
This ethos of staying flexible also extended into Olivier’s future plans for the business. While she would prefer to stay independent, she was adverse to the idea of larger companies taking interest in her cidery.
“What does stay the same is the amount of cider we want to produce and how we want to make it I'd say our company values of how we make the cider using the un-sprayed orchards and things like that need to stay the same, but how we get that may change through time,” Olivier continued.
A growing number of food and drink manufacturers have turned to crowdfunding to raise money for their businesses.
In May, Cannabidiol craft brewer Cannabrew smashed its crowdfunding target, raising £200,000 in less than 24 hours.
Meanwhile, last year saw insect pod start-up BeoBia exceed its crowdfunding goal in 24 hours, reaching 120% of its target through Kickstarter.