Monday Distillery – a Geelong-based soft drink maker – is launching a crowdfunding campaign for its parent company, Higher State Beverage Co, with expressions of interest now open.
Higher State Beverage Co has doubled its revenue since its inception in 2016, with Lunae Sparkling sitting under its umbrella alongside Monday Distillery.
So why would a company that has been so successful already turn to crowdfunding?
For founder Samantha Manning and partner Haydn Farley, it “makes sense” – and that’s thanks to the brands’ highly engaged community.
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On social media, the two brands have over 35,000 followers, and Farley says the company itself also has people writing all the time, excited about the concept of being able to share a piece of the business.
After all, Higher State Beverage Co has always been customer first.
“Our trip wasn’t about what market research was telling us were hot categories,” says Farley.
“It was Lunae customers saying, ‘I love your product and I feel like I’m drinking something special, but I don’t drink alcohol’. That’s what brought us to Monday.
“We weren’t trying to follow anything. We were just listening to the community.
It is precisely to remain attentive to the community that the co-owners have chosen to embark on the path of crowdfunding as opposed to other more traditional founding paths.
“It’s giving to the people who believed in us, understood us and gave us the foresight that this is something [consumers wanted] a chance to invest, so he returned to his roots.
Once the campaign launches on crowdfunding platform Equitise, these consumers will have the chance to become co-owners for as little as $250.
The goal is to reach $1.2 million — an investment that would be split between the two brands — which will allow for continued development of new product varieties, expansion of physical distribution, and continued international growth.
The Dry July Finish Line
Manning and Farley hope the public increase will be launched by the end of the month while Dry July is still underway, which means cutting a normally eight-week long process down to around four or five.
Wanting the process to move quickly has a lot to do with the captive audience of the moment, as many Australian consumers are increasingly aware of non-alcoholic options and want to take a break from alcohol themselves.
“I think if we were to do it during the holiday season, people would get a bit caught up in the festivities and forget about the big [non-alcoholic] products there,” Farley said.
But the increase that will happen sooner rather than later will also help Higher State Beverage Co capitalize on its two brands that are making waves in the booming market, as well as the rise of the non-alcoholic space in Australia that is “well and truly here,” Manning says. .
“Monday Distillery has been in the market for three years now and we want to be able to pivot and make the brand more accessible. We’ve been able to get through COVID-19 and have all the growth we’ve had during that time,” she said.
“Now we have to take it to the next level, [and] we want to be able to show people that from small things big things can grow.
“But to become big things, we need the resources to do that.”