The Edinburgh-based initiative, which helps people “transform” their relationship with alcohol, last month laid out its plans to raise £500,000 via a crowdfunder to help fuel its global growth, having previously raised nearly £2 million.
The Crowdcube campaign broke through that barrier within minutes, swiftly raising 126 per cent of its goal to scale up operations. The funding will be invested in new tech, provide “world-class” content on Android and iOS apps, and improve engagement with the community globally.
OYNB founder Ruari Fairbairns said: “We were already the UK’s most recognised alcohol-free brand and aiming to become the go-to support to empower people to change their behaviour. But this speed and level of support has just blown us away.
“It’s fantastic confirmation that we are definitely on the right road and that a paradigm change is happening. The growth of the alcohol-free movement is booming and investors are recognising that there is a huge opportunity to grow a valuable business in this emerging sector of preventative health.”
Nic Brauer, early stage lead at Crowdcube, said: “It's great to have OYNB raising investment on Crowdcube. The success of their raise is a testament to their mission to change drinking habits and empower behavioural change – we're excited to see what's next for the company and its new investors.”
Alain Renaud, a longstanding investor in OYNB, also managing partner at investment banking-focused Alexander Partners and the former global head of mergers and acquisitions at HSBC, said: “The ability to combine a return on my investment with the satisfaction of helping the values is something that I really believe in.
“Life post-Covid will need, amongst other things, a global detox for people to again have normal, healthy lives. Only services like OYNB can provide a workable solution for people who want to get back to healthy lives, in a sustainable way.”
OYNB was founded in 2015, after Mr Fairbairns found that taking a break from alcohol saw all areas of his life improve, and he wanted to help other people realise this. He had been involved in binge drinking culture while working in London as a senior oil broker, but then felt that alcohol was causing him more harm than good.
The focus of OYNB is not about eliminating alcohol entirely, but rather focusing on empowering people to break down old habits and build new ones, “creating a positive mindset that lets the individual take back control and make clear-sighted decisions”.
It is aimed at anyone drinking more than three glasses of wine a week, and now boasts a member base of more than 80,000. Now, it is developing technology that will enable members to connect over their common goals regarding issues such as caffeine, sugar, gambling, and social media.
Last year it also exceeded a crowdfunding target, in that case seeing 512 investors raise about £1.8m via Seedrs – 125 per cent of the £1.4m target, which was reached within 24 hours.