We're a young independent distillery on a quest to drive sustainability and innovation in Scotch whisky
|Location||Oban, United Kingdom|
|Sectors||Food & Beverage Non-Digital Mixed B2B/B2C|
|Incorporation date||22 Mar 2013|
- £7.5 million already raised since launch
- Organic distillery powered by renewable energy built from scratch
- £360,000 of whisky sold in cask before pouring a bottle
- 1st product, a Botanical Spirit, known for quality and innovation
Nc'nean Distillery is a young, independent, organic whisky distillery on the west coast of Scotland. Our mission is to create experimental spirits and pioneer sustainable production.
Founded by Annabel Thomas and Derek Lewis in 2013, the distillery was completed in early 2017 after raising £7.5million. We began distilling single malt in March 2017 and have laid down over 1,500 casks of whisky to date.
The company and brand is becoming known for having a truly differentiated approach, both to making whisky and other spirits. Our first product, the Nc'nean Botanical Spirit, has been well received by consumers and the trade and was recognised as one of the top 10 most innovative spirits of 2018.
We are confident that the first whisky we will release in 2020 will be excellent, and we have already sold £360,000 worth of Nc'nean whisky before the first bottle has even been poured.
MADE BY NATURE NOT BY RULES
1. An uncompromising focus on sustainability
All Nc'nean products are certified organic, we use only renewable energy and we recycle our waste products back to the farm. And we sweat the small stuff: we measure and minimise our waste, we recycle our cooling water.
2. A quiet challenge to the norms of Scotch
We believe that Scotch is not being adopted by younger drinkers because they perceive it as elitist or old fashioned. And that the Scotch whisky industry is failing to keep up with the ever-changing world around it. Our mission is to change that.
We are doing that by distilling spirits and developing products that quietly challenge the status quo. Our first product, the Nc'nean Botanical Spirit, has done just that: awarded as one of the most innovative spirit launches of 2018, it has been featured in the Telegraph, Times, FT and others.
This has created real anticipation for our whisky: a modern, organic Scotch, designed to be drunk in a soda highball, by a diverse, younger consumer.
Substantial accomplishments to date
- Raised £7.5million from equity, debt and grants to finance the build and operating costs to date
- Our first product, the 'Botanical Spirit', has been well received and recognised as an innovative product
- We have sold £360,000 worth of whisky in barrel to private individuals, showing great demand for our product before we have even released a bottle
- Based on the west coast of Scotland, we built a completely new distillery from the ground up
- Includes the full process from milling to filling casks which are stored on-site
- Current capacity is c. 95,000 litres of pure alcohol per year (c. 225,000 70cl bottles of whisky).
- More than 1,500 casks of whisky filled to date (c. 450,000 70cl bottles of whisky) with a value of over £2 million in March 2019.
- We have had excellent press coverage, from mainstream newspapers and magazines to television
- Sunday Brunch tested our Botanical Spirit live on-air and Simon Rimmer (presenter and chef) said "I've got to say, that is delicious'
- Voted top 10 most innovative spirits of 2018 by the Spirits Business
- Annabel voted one of the top 10 women to watch by About Time Magazine
- Featured in The Telegraph, The Times, Hello!, The Guardian, The FT
- We are stocked in a variety of premium bars and restaurants across the UK including London, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
- We are also stocked at bricks and mortar and online retailers, including Berry Brothers and the Whisky Exchange.
As we have for our Botanical Spirit, we plan to sell our whisky directly, as well as through the off and on trade. Direct (at the distillery, via our website) is likely to be small, though we aim for this to be higher margin.
In the UK, we plan to initially to appoint a distributor in order to benefit from their sales team, logistics and relationships with wholesalers. We may choose over time to develop our own sales team. At the moment we work with Highball brands, a UK distributor, but also have direct relationships with key retailers (e.g. Berry Brothers).
In export markets, we will appoint an importer / distributor who knows the market and understands what we are trying to achieve. We are already in discussion with potential partners in the Netherlands, France, Germany, and Scandinavia.
In addition, we will continue to offer casks of whisky for sale to private individuals to support our cash position and brand.
Use of proceeds
Over the next four years, we plan to use our brand and product story to establish Nc'nean at the forefront of contemporary Scotch. The proceeds will be used, along with income from sales and support from bank debt, to:
1. Fund marketing and sales efforts to launch our whisky in summer 2020 (with the aim to scale to 100,000 bottles) and invest to grow our Botanical Spirit by expanding production and sales and marketing (with the aim to scale to 42,000 bottles).
2. Continue laying down spirit for future whisky stocks (cost of malt, energy, production team salaries)
3. Capital investment, primarily in a house for staff accommodation and a bottling line
If we are able to raise more than our target we will also be able to:
4. Build an additional warehouse on-site to save transport/storage costs
5. Invest to launch second new-make based product designed to take advantage of the low alcohol trend
We'd love to offer the perks below for our investors:
Invest £500: £20 voucher to spend by August 2020
Invest £1k: 15% off for a year + early bird access to all new releases
Invest £5k: as above + free distillery tours for next 5 years
Invest £10k: as above + free limited edition Aged Botanical Spirit gift pack
Invest £25k: as above + VIP distillery trip in 2020 or 2021
Please note that any discounts, rewards and/or offers listed by a company in its campaign are subject to the terms and conditions applied by that company and listed above. It is the company’s responsibility to honour such discounts, rewards and/or offers and Seedrs does not take any responsibility for them.
The company has the following outstanding loans:
- A secured £2m revolving credit facility from a bank at an interest rate of 4.3% over LIBOR per annum. This loan is secured with a floating charge over the company's assets and a personal guarantee from a director and a shareholder of the company.
The facility is to be repaid on January 2023 and has £440,000 remaining to be drawn down subject to provision of additional security.
There is a second-ranking floating charge in favour of those providing the personal guarantee
The company has a written confirmation of an extension to this facility when this fundraising round closes. This will extend the total facility to £3m (maintaining the same interest rate).
- A shareholder loan of £300,000, which is to be converted into equity on this round. This equity has been included in the pre-money valuation in this round.
- The company intends to purchase a house for employees which will be c. 70% funded by a loan from the same bank, the details of which are being currently being agreed.
Related party transaction
The company leases the land for the distillery from an existing shareholder and a director of the company.