Invivo Wines Take Top Kiwi Crowdfunding Spot
Invivo Wines Take Top Kiwi Crowdfunding Spot
Just two-weeks after opening investment opportunities to the public, Invivo Wines has become New Zealand’s largest equity crowdfunded company.
The innovative company was the first winery in the Southern Hemisphere to launch an equity crowdfunding exercise in 2015 and with their latest capital raise, Invivo has now received more than $4 million from over 687 investors through a combination of equity crowdfunding and wholesale investments. The offer has been lead managed by Miro Capital Advisory, with the online portion being hosted on Snowball Effect while the offline portion involved the participation of several leading NZX Firms.
The previous holder of the top spot was financial services provider Squirrel Group, made up of Squirrel Mortgages, Squirrel Money and TenanSee, who raised $3.4 million from 176 investments in mixed retail and wholesale offers.
Lightbourne says Invivo’s equity crowdfunding consists of a similar mix of everyday consumers who love the brand and would like to become part of the Invivo story, and wholesale investors who have made significant investments.
“Our previous equity crowdfunding exercise in 2015 with Snowball Effect, made records at the time, and we’re pleased to see such a positive response from the public once again,” Lightbourne says.
“Based on the company’s latest valuation, those that invested in Invivo Wines in 2015 have seen their share price jump 140 per cent, along with the opportunity to attend a couple of fun AGMs.”
Co-founder Rob Cameron adds that this latest round of investment will be used for driving further growth of Invivo’s current range and creating new opportunities.
“Our Graham Norton range has been hugely popular and in the latest 12 weeks sales data makes up five per cent of all New Zealand wine sales in the UK. Graham’s range now includes a sauvignon blanc, rosé, shiraz and prosecco, so we’ll be looking to support those products even more,” Cameron says.
“We’re also planning to expand into the US through a new celebrity collaboration, and build on the opportunities in Australia, the UK and Ireland, all while growing our team and our domestic market through our New Zealand partner, Lion.”
Since Invivo’s previous crowdfunding exercise in 2015, the company’s sales have increased from $3.7 million to a projected $13.9 million this financial year.
Customers and investors have increasingly been drawn to the company’s ethos of doing things a little differently. Annual AGMs, for example, arefun-filled evenings that aim to create unique experiences and embody the company’s innovative approach. The first AGM in 2016 featured live music, canapés, dinner and a winery tour, with overseas investors joining the event via a live stream and local attendance surpassing many listed companies.
Since New Zealand’s crowdfunding legislation was passed in 2014, the local industry as a whole has raised a combined $66.3 million across all equity crowdfunding offers.
Internationally, the world’s largest crowdfunded company, craft beer operation BrewDog, has raised £50 million from almost 70,000 investors and is now valued at £1 billion with recent private equity investment.
Founded by a couple of mates that liked New Zealand wine so much they started a winery to make some. Co-founders Tim Lightbourne and Rob Cameron say their wine is made from “grapes, time and two maxed out credit cards.”
Invivo make wine their friends would drink and talk about it the same way they would: honest, down to earth, and without BS. They create approachable wines that appeal both to those new to wine and to the connoisseurs. They also enjoy having a bit of fun doing it.
Invivo’s first wine, a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, was released in 2008 in the middle of the GFC and the range has since expanded to include Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Rosé, Sparkling, Riesling, Shiraz and Chardonnay. In 2012, Invivo Wines was named a Deloitte’s Fast 50 Company.
In 2015, Invivo were the first (and still only) New Zealand winery to equity crowdfund, offering the NZ public shares in the company. They set a southern hemisphere equity crowdfunding record at the time raising, NZD$2million - the maximum allowed to raise under NZ crowdfunding legislation.
Their first vintage of Graham Norton’s Own Sauvignon Blanc was produced in 2014 in collaboration with the man himself. Graham’s wines now sell in nine countries and the Sauvignon Blanc won the most successful consumer launch in Ireland in 2015.
Invivo has won over 150 medals and 5 trophies since that first wine in 2008, with gongs including ‘World’s Best Sauvignon Blanc’. In February 2016 Invivo moved into one of New Zealand’s oldest wineries, in Te Kauwhata, where they continue to turn pristine grapes into top New Zealand wine that’s picking up fans from Cork to New York.