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.

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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