28. Beer52

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Founders: James Brown and Fraser Doherty
Founded: May 2013 (launched September 2013)
Website: www.beer52.com

After developing a love for craft beer on a father son and road trip from Edinburgh to Faro, Startups Awards winner James Brown knew he had to help other beer lovers discover “these great beers that nobody knows about”.

With just 7p in the bank and government support for rent but plenty of vision and passion, Brown managed to convince investors to lend him the £20,000 he needed to launch Beer52. Working on a subscription model, the company sends customers handpicked and personally approved beers from more than 12,000 of the world’s microbreweries.

Since appearing in the Startups 100 2014 index, Beer52 has now reached 7,800 paying subscribers and an annual turnover of £1.2m in 2014 – with plans to reach 10,000 customers by summer and to nearly double turnover this year. The brand also ramped up exposure with a record Groupon deal that saw 5,000 beers sold in 40 minutes. The company has also now raised more than £200,000 from angel investors and the crowd.

Hoping to raise further investment, Brown has ambitious plans for the next 12 months, including the launch of a new community based app, the creation of four new full-time positions and a target of 20,000 members.

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