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Chapel Down turns to crowdfunding to drive English wine growth plans

Published:  08 September, 2014

Leading English winery, Chapel Down,  is continuing to drive its growth by looking for private investors to support it through a crowdfunding scheme.

The winery has already received private backing for over £4 million through the Hot House Club to help it build a brewery and plant more vines. It is now looking for additional support to raise further equity to plant more vines and invest in its winery and brewery business.

It is looking to raise the new capital through a crowdfunding scheme which starts on September 8 on the Seedrs platform.

Frazer Thompson, chief executive of Chapel Down, said:  "We have raised money from institutional investors in the past, but the wine business is about passion and people, not just money. We saw this as a chance to recruit thousands of small shareholders, both from the trade and among consumers, who can help us grow the brand and the business by being active."

He added: "Our smaller investors are more like pilgrims in their passion and commitment to Chapel Down. We want to recruit more of them. And we want to make sure they are well looked after."

Anyone backing the crowdfunding initiative will receive additional benefits. Anyone, for example,  investing £560 or more, will receive a 33% discount on Chapel Down wines bought direct from the winery.  

"Investors not only get a share of a proven brand and business in an exciting and interesting market, but they get excellent discounts to encourage them to buy and spread the word, and they can also sell their shares on a recognised exchange," said Thompson.  

"We've convinced people that we make great products," said Thompson, "and now we need to make a great deal more of them to satisfy demand. That's where the investment will help."