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Craft Gin Club owner lands Dragons’ Den investment

Craft Clubs has secured an investment of £75,000 on BBC television series Dragons’ Den from London Cocktail Club co-founder and resident Dragon Sarah Willingham.

The duo secured £75,000 from Dragon Sarah Willingham

After a competitive pitch to Willingham’s fellow Dragons, the company behind gin and sparkling wine subscription services Craft Gin Club and Bubble Club acquired an investment of £75,000 from Willingham.

The first show of the new series, which will air on on Sun 24 July, BBC2, will show Craft Clubs’ co-founders Jon Hulme and John Burke receiving the investment in return for 12.5% stake in their start-up.

Gillingham has been a Dragon since March 2015, and will take an advisory role in the company, which already dispatches more than 4,000 bottles of gin and sparkling wine each month.

Each month club members receive a surprise box featuring craft gin or sparkling wines from small producers, together with mixers, cocktail ingredients, and a club magazine.

Willingham said: “When you’re sitting there in the Den you genuinely have no idea who will come through the lift door next, but as soon as I heard Craft Clubs’ pitch I knew it was a business I wanted to be a part of. John and Jon are two great entrepreneurs with a fantastic idea backed up by a really solid and scalable business plan. Not only do we all share a passion for business, we also get pretty excited about a great gin and tonic, which I’m sure will make board meetings fun!”
Hulme and Burke met whilst studying business in Madrid, and hit upon the idea for Craft Gin Club whilst discussing Spanish-style gin and tonics in a bar in London.

The duo launched their business in January 2015, and went into Dragons’ Den experience aiming to attract Willingham’s investment, as the Dragon possesses experience in the food and beverage industries.
Hulme said: “We entered the Dragons’ Den process really excited about the prospect of working with Sarah. She and her team have an incredible amount of experience in the drinks space, and we’re hoping that Craft Clubs can really benefit from their combined wisdom. This is a great outcome for us, and hopefully for Sarah and her team as well.”
Burke added: “We’re really looking forward to working closely with Sarah. We went onto the show looking for an investment of time as well as money, so to find a backer with Sarah’s level of success – alongside a real willingness to be involved and help us guide our young company – is a real win. With her help, we’re looking forward to launching into new categories making the Craft Clubs experience even better for our members.”

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