A look at the F&B businesses that dominated Seedrs and Crowdcube in January

Naturally-flavoured wine beverage Sipful seeks to expand its retail presence in the UK

With a new year comes a vast new opportunity for early-stage investment through crowdfunding. 2021 brought about huge success for crowdfunded food and beverage businesses in the UK. 

Last year emerging trends like low and no alcohol spirits, organic and sustainable products and D2C delivery platforms completed oversubscribed campaigns across both Seedrs and Crowdcube as retail investor interest in food and drink surged. 

January is typically quiet in the investment world after a busy end-of-the-year closing for many fundraising rounds. This lull is reflected in the live campaigns available across crowdfunding platforms during the month. 

However, the majority of those raising throughout January were already oversubscribed at the time of writing this article. 

Aardvark: £150,000 target (oversubscribed) 

The conversation around the future of pet food has been heating up in recent months, particularly in the context of sustainable food supply chains like cultured meat. 

Aardvark has developed an insect-based pet food for both dogs and cats to cut down on the environmental damage associated with the meat and pet food industries. 

The company claims a quarter of the meat industry’s environmental impact is caused by pet food.

Its initial product line was launched in May 2021 and it has since acquired over 2000 customers. 

At the time of writing, the campaign was 235% oversubscribed with over £41,155 invested in the last week of the listing. 

The company, valued at £2.8 million, is offering investors an 11.2% equity share at a share price of £2.18. 

It raised £300,000 in an initial Crowdcube raise in August 2020 that was over 600% overfunded. 

The capital raised will support new product development including wet food and supplements as well as increased marketing efforts and expanding the executive team. 

NGX: £300,000 (oversubscribed)

Dragon’s Den winner NGX is leveraging the very nascent personalised nutrition trend by developing meal-replacement shakes that cater to an individual’s specific nutrition targets. 

At the time of writing, the start-up had raised 100% of its target via 205 investors and was offering retail investors a 6.98% equity share at a share price of £22.07. 

The start-up’s BodyFuel meal-shake solution is produced based on an at-home DNA nutrition test carried out by consumers. 

It has sold over 120,000 shakes since launch and in the last six months achieved an average return on ad spend of £3.78 per every £1 spent. 

NGX’s product roadmap includes personalised snack bars, performance gels and other supplement drinks. 

It is raising capital with the aim of accelerating customer acquisition efforts, launching new products and establishing a US presence. 

CEO Jeremy Poland has previously helped establish brands for biotech giants Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer. 

Sipful: £140,000 target (oversubscribed)

Over on the Seedrs platform, naturally-flavoured alcoholic drink brand Sipful has raised £176,556 via 184 investors at the time of writing. 

The start-up has offered 18.76% equity to investors at a share price of £5.53. 

The brand has significant sustainability targets including providing consumers with key metrics from its strategy. In September 2021, the company published an impact report and roadmap for its commitment to becoming a regenerative brand. 

Its product suite is currently available in Ocado, Whole Foods and Morrisons in the UK, as well as online via its own D2C platform and Amazon. 

Upcoming plans for Sipful include expanding its retail footprint, advancing its digital strategy by using data to market intelligently and developing a draft offering to target on-trade and foodservice accounts. 

Capital will be re-invested in building out operations, new product development, sales and marketing and entering new channels ahead of a potential exit in 2027. 

CLUBZERØ: £225,000 (oversubscribed)

Reusable packaging system CLUBZERØ has produced a cost-effective alternative to disposable packaging in an effort to eliminate landfill-packaging from the food and beverage industry. 

The company has secured previous investment from VCs Seedcamp, Atomico and  R/GA Ventures but sought to raise funds via Seedrs to make key hires, improve its user experience and launch in new regions of the UK. 

CLUBZERØ has offered retail investors a share price of £0.61 for an equity share of 3.45%. At the time of writing it was valued at £8.4 million. 

The company’s turnover increased 537% in 2020 compared to the previous year, as it took on corporate clients like JustEat, Nestlé, Starbucks and McDonalds. 

The platform is active in both London and Palo Alto in California, USA. It is openly seeking new partners in foodservice, retail and local councils. It service operates on a price per use basis, charging for each container user. 

2021 revenue for CLUBZERØ came in at £102.2 million, slightly down on 2020’s £171.9 million revenue. 

It is looking to make key hires in product management and business development. 

Date published: 28 January 2022

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