Renaissance Brewing and Yeastie Boys


Part IV: A Tale of Two Ales

We’re now halfway through our series on crowdfunding campaign successes and hope you’re as giddy with excitement as we are at the prospects of the enormous potential of emerging crowd sourced equity funding for startups and SMEs. In the first half of the series we profiled three rewards-based campaigns, with the last example, the Oculus Rift gaming headset, illustrating perfectly that sometimes some equity in the hand may be worth a couple thousand headsets in the bush.

The focus for the final leg of our article series will be squarely on equity crowdfunding, with two NZ features and one from the UK. We would have liked to profile some home-grown talent on this but given that Australia is lagging behind the eight-ball on this (and many other) front(s), we’ll likely have to wait until the first half of 2016 for all the bureaucratic head-nodding to come to fruition. To kick off our crowd sourced equity funding features, it’s over to those mean cuzzies across the ditch with a seriously choice offering worth throwing some hard-earned merino fleece at.


Campaign: Renaissance Brewing / Yeastie Boys

Platform: Snowball Effect (Renaissance) / PledgeMe (Yeastie)

Campaign type: Equity, with a rewards chaser

Capital raised: NZ$700k (Renaissance) / NZ$500k (Yeastie)

Equity stake: 12.28% (Renaissance) / 12.5% (Yeastie)


What is it?

We’ve profiled 2 in 1 as they’re basically the same thing. Both are breweries targeting the rapidly burgeoning mustachioed and bearded local and international craft beer market and needed cash to expand so they took advantage of NZ’s recent world-leading equity crowdfunding regulations and sold part of the business. Marlborough-based Renaissance used the cash to increase capacity and infrastructure to continue to build local and export markets. Invercargill’s Yeastie Boys did more or less the same but are building on a strong and established UK/EU following and using the crowdfunding cash to push harder into their northern Hemisphere markets.


What did investors get for their money?

Drunk. Plus their own slice of a brewery – how good’s that? Both companies also kick in some sweeteners, or rather bitterners, in the form of free beer, discounts, invitations to brewing days and voting rights. Check Renaissance’s campaign page or Yeastie Boys’ for the nitty gritty.


Why was it successful?

Who doesn’t like beer? No-one in NZ it seems. Thirsty Kiwis ponied up $500k in less than 30 minutes for the Boys and kicked in $700k in less than 2 weeks for Renaissance. It is a useful comparison however if you look at the campaigns side by side. Yeastie Boys got to their maximum overfunding target in half an hour while it took 576 times as long for Renaissance to reach theirs. Why? Eyeball both campaign pages and the difference sticks out like….something fairly prominent.

Renaissance plays it pretty straight – this is what we already do well, this is what we want to do, this is why we need your cash, these are the responsible people (barring the circus escapee with the twirly ‘stache) who will be treating your money oh so wisely and making you a modest return.

In contrast, with a name like Yeastie Boys, the campaign was never going to be dull. Insert some peppy talk, unpronounceable Gaelic and badly drawn profile pics, they’ve even made the boring numbers bits seems exciting. From current performance and global notoriety, through growth, marketing and projected revenues, they spin a very compelling narrative as to why you should invest and get rich and drunk with the Boys in the short to medium term. Whilst you may not market a VC firm like this, given their product they nailed the pitch to the post and hit the ball out of the park in terms of campaigns. One to watch.


The wrap

Interestingly, both of these campaigns threw in some rewards to get people on board and funding equity in the companies. This is a great approach, more so for companies with tangible products, but could also work for innovative services-based enterprises. Who doesn’t love a free lunch, or beer? So if you’re considering going down the equity route, why not think about some tailored rewards to go along with a little slice of your baby? Could be the difference between hitting your target or going back to flipping burgers at a truck stop.


That wraps up the first in our profiles of the regional equity crowdfunding scene. Tune in next time for the CrowdReady roadshow as we hit the hustings on our international trade mission. In the meantime read up at the CrowdReady website and email us if you’ve got a pressing urge to get in touch, or just to say hi…we like people. Until next time, bottoms up!