Batchwell Kombucha seeks to raise $1 million to expand portfolio

An Auckland beverage company is looking to raise $1 million from investors to expand its soft drinks portfolio while also funding a new alcoholic kombucha product.

Batchwell, founded in 2016, recently launched the fund raising round through online investment platform Snowball Effect.

Co-founder Richard Old said the company’s revenue had grown to $630,000 and expects this to ratchet up further in 2022.

Batchwell has forecast revenue growth of 325 per cent in 2022 – an ambitious target Old attributes to the launch of several new products, including an alcoholic kombucha line called Blume.

At the moment Batchwell has eight different non-alcoholic kombucha flavours drinks and three alcoholic kombuchas. It wants to add Blume and three new non-alcoholic beverages into the mix, plus a non-beverage product.

The projected growth of the company is dependent on the successful launch of their new beverages, according to the company’s iinformation memorandum (IM).

Old told the Herald that Blume is a key component behind Batchwell’s targeted revenue growth in 2022.

The company’s information memorandum revealed plans to invest $110,000 in new and improved production equipment such as bottling machines, general factory equipment, brewing tanks and jars.

The IM revealed the company has future plans to export the drinks to Australia and the US in the 2022 financial year.

Prior to the latest capital raise, the business was valued at $2.30m, according to the IM.

Batchwell has set an issue price of $1 per share with the minimum investment amount of $2000. It is seeking to raise at least $700,000 in exchange for 23.33 per cent of the company’s equity.

The offer closes on August 19 and so far the firm has raised $278,450.

Batchwell has identified seven medium level risks for future growth, including strategy execution, staff retention and competition.

The company planned to focus on building its brand and reputation to stay ahead of competition, the IM noted.

“Our traditional brewing process is hard to imitate making it hard for new competitors to compete on quality,” IM reported.

Batchwell is currently ranked the second most expensive (per 100ml) out of seven other competitors. The company noted that its products were pitched at the premium end of the market with a higher price point.

Batchwell also noted the impact Covid-19 could have on the business as in 2020 shoppers chose cheaper beverages as opposed to expensive ones.

However, during the same period, the online sales increased as Batchwell “ramped up” their online efforts.

Batchwell said the company had navigated its way through Covid-19 by “reducing production hours and utilising government subsidies”.

Old said there was a possibility of growth in the alcohol market and it provided an exciting opportunity to diversify the portfolio.

“The global ready-to-drink (RTD) market is also enjoying similar growth, with this category forecast to continue growing at 4.5 per cent through to 2025. Beverages that fit into consumers’ health-focused lifestyles now play a significant role in growing the RTD segment,” Old said.

“With the launch of our new alcoholic kombucha brand, Blume, we can provide Kiwis with a tasty alternative for their Friday night drinks which is better for their gut and doesn’t compromise on flavour,” Old said.

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