Thursday, 1 December 2016

Brewdog US fundraising enters realms of pure fantasy

Brewdog - The UK's fastest growing food and drink company, is now offering investors a chance to double their money by playing roulette. Is this a Dead Dog bounce we ask?

Brewdog have been trying to raise money for months in the USA to support their new brewery in Ohio. We have written about this several times here - the campaign has been nothing short of a disaster.

According to Business Insider, Brewdog have only raised $3m of the $50m target. 

So now they have introduced this ridiculous gimmick. If you have invested in Brewdog you get one chance to gamble using roulette's red or black to double your money and if that fails you lose your shares. What? The way this will work is that its supposed to entice possible investors to take the plunge - its only for US Brewdog enthusiasts. This isnt the stated aim of course! But then they are desperate.

That James guy needs to see a shrink. Where are the SEC? How is this not rigged?

Look, the people of the USA voted for The Donald, so theoretically anything is possible. Sensible it aint.

After the slightly farcical Brewdog share sale held recently on Asset Match, where the price of the shares was well below the last Crowdcube raise until the last few minutes when one large purchase was made, this is surely confirmation that the founders have lost touch with reality.

Crowdfund Insider have Watt, the co founder, saying that they are fucking Wall St and putting the small investor in charge. Has he ever played roulette?

It's a gimmick of the worst kind. Desperate and ever so slightly embarrassing. We dont expect the Dog to get up this time.


  1. I love the blog but I do think this is a peculiar angle to take on this one.. I doubt James cares what we think. But from what I can understand he has made his business an astonishing success precisely because he sticks two fingers up to convention - not in spite of it.

    And yes, the business is an astonishing success by any measure. The valuation we could debate for days - he has nevertheless done an incredible job at marketing the investment.

    Constantly trying out crazy new ideas is inevitably at the heart of any great entrepreneur. Don't be a doubter - we need more British entrepreneurs that want to ruffle things up in the US and who are happy to take a few knocks, make a few mistakes, and get up and carry on full of vigor and enthusiasm.

    Long may he continue sticking two fingers up. And we should be supporting him all the way.

    P.S. I am not a shareholder. Nor have I met James.

    1. You are of course entitled to your view. Brewdog is very successful - no doubt about that and that is stated in the first para. However the US raise has been a total disaster which is what the piece is about. It really doesnt do anyone any favours to pretend otherwise but you can if you like. This isnt a crazy new idea IMO - its a total con to try and kick start the company's US fiasco and it really doesnt deserve anything other than ridicule - much like the very odd Asset Match share price dealings.He has no support here for this scam.

    2. PS - in case you didnt know, Brewdog used Crowdcube to raise finance and as this blog is about ECF and Crowdcube, then the piece is aimed at shareholders (who may not have known the US situation) and certainly not at James Watt - who does.

    3. @anon

      Hasn't the penny dropped yet you absolute potato? Believing you are backing the underdog British start up and 'fighting the good fight'? Perhaps injecting some good ol' positivity into young energetic businesses?

      Give me a break!! This is exactly how so many are being fleeced TODAY....

      Behind the scenes there is mounting evidence all an investor is, is fair game for turning upside down.

      @anon with increasing transparency I am quite certain we will find many businesses have been sold to the crowd on nothing more than fluff, some perhaps even intentionally misleading, as in fraudulent.

      We will see but for God sake get a reality check. That was embarrassing.

    4. @Nick

      All fair - the point I wanted to make is that IMO Brewdog is not like the rest. To me it looks like the anomalous winner. I know I sound like I am looking at this is a naive and simplistic way - we will see!

      Look forward to the update on their bond issue!

    5. Dont generally cover bond issues. I dont think anyone would try to claim that Brewdog are not highly successful - they certainly are. However we just felt that this along with the odd happenings at their share sale might be signs that something has come adrift. Again no one could deny that their US raise has been a disaster 3/50. This roulette move is just a nonsense. But it shouldnt turn a great success into a failure and thats not what we are saying. Branson has had loads of failures. He's still a success.

  2. I cannot comment about the US but I can say the bristol brewdog does seem to be pretty successful - and not just on a friday/saturday.
    Again, whether it actually makes a profit - no idea.

  3. Not specific to Brewdog, but success is of course relative.

    Many funding on the ECF platforms would not be described as 'succesful' relative to their last valuation.

  4. Its quite obvious what is happening - it's like watching a car crash in slow motion...
    1) They have committed to spend $30M on a brewery in the USA
    2) They don't have the funds to meet the cost of this new brewery - hence the raise in the USA
    3) The USA raise didn't work. But they still owe $30M - so they have delayed the delivery of kit (all in the news this) while they find the cash to pay for it elsewhere.
    4) They launched a bond in the UK today for £10M - surprise surprise.

    Terms like Ponzi spring to mind about this.

    But the biggest issue is yet to come - they have practically zero business in the USA. What does it cost to run a $30M brewery - staff, sales people? Millions of $ per year. They are a big success, but they just don't have the profitability to fund the running costs.

    Its a great business until it runs out of other people's money...