Large multinational food and drinks corporations have shown their desire in recent years to diversify product portfolios through investing in ambitious early-stage and growth-focused businesses.
UK based, high-profile food and drink businesses such as Innocent Drinks have seen interest and investment from companies such as Coca-Cola. After an early investment in Innocent Drinks, Coca-Cola eventually negotiated a 90% stake in ownership in 2013, providing the founders and its existing shareholders a healthy return on their investment.
Pret-A-Manger, the UK-founded sandwich chain garnered interest from McDonald’s, who later invested in the business in 2001 after seeing strong growth. The investment allowed Pret-A-Manger to access resource to successfully expand globally, becoming a staple on most high streets and malls across the globe. The business later went on to sell to private equity firm Bridgepoint. Pret’s 2014 sales reached an impressive £593.6 million, up 14% from the previous year.
In the above examples, these larger investors have been able to offer more than just funds to businesses. Their partnerships have supported successful product expansion, creative transformation, PR opportunities and aggressive commercial growth. All of these businesses were startups not too long ago.
Investing in the food and drink game isn’t reserved for just the big players, Seedrs has seen exciting early-stage and growth-focused businesses who have used the power of inviting potential customers, suppliers and their own network to invest in their vision.
Take Tossed for example; the award-winning healthy eating high street brand used equity crowdfunding to bring onboard 661 investors who together invested £1,345,000. The financial backing has helped support the brands expansion into 24 stores across shopping centres, London city hubs, service stations and even overseas in Dubai. There were immediate benefits for investors, with up to 50% lifetime discounts for shareholders, as well as the bright future for a thriving business. The funding round helped Tossed bring onboard hundreds of new ambassadors who have become valuable assets for the brand.
Leading winemaker Chapel Down, has raised the most capital to date on Seedrs, a whopping £3.9 million, in order to double the land they have under vine, build a new winery and extend their hospitality facilities. They brought the opportunity to investors through Seedrs, allowing people who have a strong interest in both the business and a passion for wine to invest and spread the word about Chapel Down, and share in their future. 1,462 people who believed in the team and product became shareholders, reflecting the enthusiasm for the future of English wine.
To read about more exciting business stories, visit our case studies.