Craft beer firm WooHa Brewing Company serves up fundraiser

McDonald is to meet potential investors at a series of events this month. Picture: Gary Murison.
McDonald is to meet potential investors at a series of events this month. Picture: Gary Murison.
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A north-east craft beer brand is pushing the button on a £600,000 crowdfunder as it seeks to lock down further international growth.

WooHa Brewing Company, based in Kinloss in Moray, is launching the fundraiser with Crowdcube, as part of an overall £1.5 million campaign, to continue its expansion.

The firm is pushing the button on a 600,000 crowdfunder. Picture: contributed.

The firm is pushing the button on a 600,000 crowdfunder. Picture: contributed.

Participants can invest any amount from £10 and could benefit from tax reliefs through the Enterprise Investment Scheme.

The move marks the second crowdfunding campaign on the Crowdcube platform by WooHa, which describes itself as a “bold, ambitious Scottish brewery with a focus on exporting”.

The firm says it has an established portfolio of export partners, and needs funding to continue to build its sales team and international customer base – as well as fund promotional activity.

WooHa was set up in 2015 and started exporting to the US in the same year. Its international portfolio now comprises countries across Europe and South-east Asia.

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Money raised from the crowdfunding will also go towards the launch of WooHa’s new 500ml can for the rapidly growing Chinese market. “This is part of WooHa’s strategy of tailoring its products to each market, having recently developed a steel keg range specifically for the US,” the beer firm said.

The business moved to a fully-equipped 6.2-acre site in Kinloss in 2017 and after appointing a new head of sales, who brings with him experience from BrewDog, Red Bull and Carlsberg, says it is “primed” for further expansion.

The brewery’s current capacity is 5,000 hectolitres per year and the aim is to grow in-house production to 88,000 by June 2023.

Progress

As part of its fundraising campaign, WooHa is holding a series of investor events this month in London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Inverness. It said the sessions will let people hear from WooHa founder and chief executive Heather McDonald about the next stage of the brewery’s journey and will offer potential investors the chance to ask questions about the business, its growth plans and its exit strategy.

She said: “We have a strong vision about how we plan to grow the brand rapidly and in a sustainable way. Key to this expansion will be our sales team as we need more people on the ground in our key markets. We also need robust marketing and strong support for our international partners. The funding secured through our crowdfunding campaign will help make our ambitions a reality.”

She also said WooHa has much to appeal to investors, as well as existing and new customers. “For example, WooHa’s experience with and focus on export markets, as well as a well-defined three to five year exit strategy. We even have our own WooHa tartan, listed with The Tartan Register of Scotland. We have big growth plans and want to give everyone a little WooHa, so now is your chance to join our clan.”

McDonald studied microbiology and subsequently saw the chance to harness her skills to create a “unique, modern craft beer product”. Funding milestones include in 2017 securing £700,000 to boost production.