Naked Wines launches £3m fundraising round issuing UK-first ‘wine bonds’

Global wine marketplace offers new customer scheme that pays interest in wine

Online wine marketplace Naked Wines has today announced plans to raise £3m by issuing bonds that will pay interest via wine credits and cash payments.

Launched in 2008 by former Virgin Wines executive Rowan Gormley, Norwich-based Naked Wines connects independent winemakers directly with UK consumers supplying unique, premium brands at reduced rates in exchange for a membership fee.

Entitled the Naked Fine Wine Bond, the company’s new finance scheme allows customers to buy between £500 to £10,000 of its three year fixed-term securities. It will then pay out interest “significantly above current bank rates” of 7% annual gross interest in cash or 10% in yearly wine credits.

After three years, customers can then redeem the bond or re-invest. A 10% premium will be paid out to those who choose to spend the original amount they invested when the bond matures.

The bond has a minimum subscription target of £1m with a maximum of £5m and will remain open from today until midnight September 29.

The wine specialist intends to utilise the funding to support growth of the fine wine industry after raising $10m from German direct wine seller Wiv Wein International just last week.

In recent years retail bonds have been used by a range of major companies including Hotel Chocolat, King of Shaves, Caxton FX, Leon Restaurant and Brewdog as a means to source capital directly through ‘real customers’ without the involvement of banks or loss of equity.

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Rowan Gormley, CEO of Naked Wines, the Startups Awards Business of the Year in 2010 and a Fast Growth Business Awards winner in 2011, discussed its decision to launch the new bond scheme:

“Ultimately fine wines require more time to mature, meaning we also need a longer-term source of funding in order to give the winemakers the financial assistance they need.”


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