Coffee and cocktails group Grind has launched a £1.5m crowdfunding bond to help it open four new sites and a roastery.
First launched by David Abrahamovitch and Kaz James in 2011 in Shoreditch, the original Shoreditch Grind group now has four sites across London, comprising the Hoxton hotel in Holborn, Soho, and London Bridge, and turns over £5m per year.
It is also planning to open a new roastery in East London using beans from its existing suppliers - the coffee from which it expects to introduce into its sites around six months after it opens, to allow development time and ensure the quality of the Grind coffee remains constant.
The group also hopes the funding will set it on the path towards international expansion, especially to America, while ensuring that the growth is always driven by interesting buildings, and sites that suggest new opportunities - such as the London Bridge location, which offered new space for a wider restaurant offer.
The mini-bond will offer investors an 8% annual interest rate paid quarterly over four years, while every investor will receive an ‘investor card' offering complimentary coffees and cocktails. Any investment above £5,000 will receive free coffees and cocktails for the lifetime of the bond, plus an invite to a commemorative Bond party; those investing more than £10,000 will get free coffees or cocktails every week, and investments in excess of £25,000 will receive a ‘red card' (usually given to celebrities), which entitles the bearer to a free coffee or cocktail every day.
David Abrahamovitch, co-founder of the group along with Kaz James, commented that he was confident of reaching the target, but emphasised that expansion for the company had always been site-driven, rather than an overarching, long-term goal to open a certain number of sites.
He said: "There's still a long way to go, but we're hopeful that we'll meet the target. We've had an amazing amount from a partner at a venture capital firm, which is amazing validation of the model."
He added that Crowdcube worked as an option for Grind as it had gone past the riskiest start-up phase of the business, and could now focus on giving back to the people who had supported it in the first place. At the time of writing Grind has investments of £235,500 from 35 investors.
Speaking about the group's vision as a whole, he said: "If we'd started out with a big ambition to create 50 sites, we probably wouldn't have got past the first one. It started off as, let's just do really good coffee, great music, and have fun. And then it evolved. It was as simple as that.
"We see Grind as a brand, and hopefully everything we do, we do well. That's the only real limit."
CrowdCube allows amateur investors to invest money in bonds online, with the investment only going through should the company raise the stated investment goal.
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