May crowdfunding round-up: Sustainability takes centre stage 

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

An overarching theme among young businesses across most industries today is sustainability and the pressing need to cut down on waste and carbon footprints. 

With food and drink being one of the industries contributing to the most to climate change, the demand for sustainable options is significant. 

Start-ups are at an advantage in this respect as they are able to pivot more easily to sustainable operations. New, novel models for producing and selling foods are also in high demand from investors, both private and retail. 

Sustainability has become a prominent feature among the European start-ups seeking to raise capital via crowdfunding platforms. 

May saw fewer F&B start-ups than previous months featured across Crowdcube and Seedrs’ platforms, with alcoholic drinks brands featuring once again as the most common category. 

Green Build Systems: £250,000 target 

One such business working to solve the food supply challenges faced by UK retailers and foodservice vendors is Green Build Systems. 

The start-up has sought to raise £250,000 via Crowdcube to compliment its £2 million EIS investment capital. The company has produced a unique hydroponic vertical farming solution for the retail and foodservice sectors. 

Green Build Systems has said vertical farming can produce a 10 to 20-fold greater yield per acre than traditional farms, while using up to 95% less water.

The category is currently worth $5.5 billion and is growing at a rate of 24.6% annually. 

Green Build Systems has produced a format that is modular, stackable, small in size and costing less that £25,000 per unit. It aims to attract hospitality and retail venues to grow their own produce and ultimately save on shipping and rising ingredient costs. 

At the time of writing, the company had raised £144,846 via 162 investors. It has offered investors a 2.23% equity stake for a share price of £1. 

The company’s pre-investment valuation was £10.9 million. The Crowdcube raise is part of a wider £2 million capital raise. 

WILD & GAME: £200,000 target (oversubscribed)

Elsewhere on Crowdcube in May, responsibly sourced wild game D2C provider WILD & GAME has sought to raise £200,000 to amp up its targeted marketing efforts and open a new fulfilment centre to meet demand. 

The company sources and sells wild game from across the British countryside. It claims wild game is in plentiful supply and must be managed to enable successful reforestation. 

It has amassed over 40,000 direct orders to date and reported £1 million in turnover in the last six months, with an EBITDA of (£295,000) for the period. 

WILD & GAME is led by former pub mogul Michael Cannon and Steve Frampton, ex-director for renewable energy company ADP Holdings. 

The start-up’s campaign  was 233% oversubscribed at the time of writing, with the round having raised £466,792 via 712 investors. 

Investors were offered a 5.42% equity stake at a share price of £4.29. WILD & GAME’s pre-money valuation was £8.1 million. 

Nippy Groceries: £170,000 target 

Nippy Groceries has pledged to reshape both the online and offline grocery retail sectors via an ‘innovative omni-channel approach’. 

The company is seeking to raise £170,000 to compete with quick-delivery leaders like Getir and Gorillas through its under-30 minute grocery delivery model, while also building bricks-and-mortar stores to cater to more types of customer. 

Nippy also operates through other national delivery platforms like Deliveroo and UberEats. The company believes its offline stores remove the need for a massive marketing budget and help keep operating costs down.

Many quick delivery companies have had to downsize in recent weeks due to low margins and a great deal of competition as firms battle to provide the lowest prices possible to their consumer base. 

Nippy will soon launch its third digital store in Wimbledon, London. It claims two complete 60 daily orders with an average order value of £20, despite not having spent any money on advertising. 

At the time of writing the company’s campaign was 70% subscribed, with £11,437 raised via 119 investors. Nippy has offered up a 6.6% equity stake in the business at a share price of £3.74. It’s pre-money valuation was £2.4 million. 

Foxes Bow Whiskey: €500,000 

Irish whiskey brand, Foxes Bow has sought to disrupt the whiskey sector and engage millennial and Gen Z drinkers with its colourful brand and strong social media following. 

The company claims it has developed a product designed to represent younger drinkers’ taste and break down ‘outdated barriers to entry’. 

The company launched its product in late 2021 and subsequently sold out of its stock four weeks in a row. 

The team includes former brand developer for spirits giant Pernod-Ricard Alice Carroll as a co-founder and non exec director Patrick O’Driscoll, the ex-CEO of Croby Spirits & Wines and Malibu Rum and Kahlua. 

At the time of writing the company had raised €377,289 from 220 investors and was offering a 17.42% equity stake on a share price of €1.90. 

It’s pre-money valuation was €2,370,315.