BrewDog boss wants to help create the next $1billion company

06/06/2023

THE chief executive of Ellon-based brewery and bar group BrewDog has announced a £1million cash injection to be shared by five firms with big plans for the future.

James Watt is investing in the businesses which took part in the Next Unicorn project and made it through to the final in Las Vegas. 

Unicorn refers to a start-up company which reaches a value of more than $1billion.

BrewDog – one of the biggest business success stories in the North-east in recent years – began in a small way in a Fraserburgh garage in 2007, but is now a multinational operation valued not far off £2billion. 

The BrewDog’s boss is putting up £5million of his own money up in search of the next $1billion company.

The CEO said of the unicorn initiative: “It has been such a brilliant project so far.”

He partnered with equity crowdfunding platform Crowdcube to receive pitches from entrepreneurs.

Mr Watt continued: “We had 780 fantastic businesses apply and narrowing this down to the final 20 and then the final five was incredibly difficult.

“I am delighted to announce that I have invested an initial £1million across all five of the finalists. 

“I had intended to only invest in three of the businesses, but all five finalists were so brilliant that I felt I simply had to back them all.”

After the initial £1million investment, a further £4million will be unlocked as the winning companies reach certain milestones.

The CEO said: “Building and growing businesses is a real passion point for me, and I have learnt so much on my journey getting BrewDog to unicorn status.”

The winners and their initial investments:

  • Basket – an app allowing shoppers to bookmark potential purchases from any site (£250,000)
  • Mous – protective cases and accessories for phones, headphones and other consumer tech (£150,000)
  • Tallow & Ash – a range of environmentally-friendly laundry shampoos and conditioners (£250,000)
  • Uncouth – personalised and prescribed skincare treatments (£150,000)
  • Yum Bug – edible, bug-based recipe boxes and snacks (£200,000)

The CEO said: “I am so excited to work with these entrepreneurs and do all I can to help them to build world-class businesses.

“What’s really exciting is that members of the public will be able to invest in these outstanding businesses too. 

“Each of the winning companies is available on Crowdcube, where people can invest pound-for-pound on the same terms as me. Let’s build the next billion-dollar company.”

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