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Crowdfunding success stories: Chapel Down Wines

The Kent-based winery which broke records as the UK’s largest ever equity crowdfunding round to date

The market for wine is booming. The rise of wine subscription services and the recent £70m acquisition of Naked Wines indicate that consumer demand is at an all-time high so it’s hardly surprising that Kent-based wine maker Chapel Down Wines attracted over 1,400 investors to its crowdfunding pitch in October 2014.

Marking the UK’s largest ever equity crowdfunding round to date, the winery secured a staggering £3.95m via Seedrs’ equity crowdfunding platform in exchange for 14.11% of the business – 237% overfunded from its initial £1.6m target.

Launched in 2001, ISDX-listed Chapel Down Wines claims to be the UK’s largest wine producer with its wines stocked in restaurants owned by famous chefs such as Gordon Ramsay and Startups Awards judge Iqbal Wahhab, alongside retailers including Selfridges, Waitrose, The Savoy and Majestic Wines.

With revenues in excess of £5m for 2014, the company intended to use the funding to grow more fruit for its wines and to expand its winery and distribution facility. Plans are also underway to build a brewery and visitor attraction to maximise on tourist interest.

Now toasting its success as the UK’s top crowdfunding success story, the company has come a long way from its initial launch when CEO Fraser Thompson had initially said “there wasn’t a market for English wines”.


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