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Chapel Down seeks £7 million in funding

English wine and spirits producer Chapel Down is looking to raise £6.9 million (US$9.7m) through crowdfunding and existing shareholders.

English winemaker Chapel Down is launching a crowdfunding campaign

The Kent-based winemaker is launching a crowdfunding campaign today (4 June) on Seedrs, with the aim of bringing in £5.5m (US$7.8m).

Meanwhile, a group of Chapel Down shareholders has already pledged to buy £1.4m (US$2m) in shares.

Chapel Down saw its volume sales grow by 38% in 2020, and is seeking investments to continue to build its operations and e-commerce channels, and further improve the quality of its wines.

The company has also agreed a £15m (US$21.1m) deal with lending provider PNC Business Credit, encompassing a £3m property term loan and up to £12m revolving inventory and receivables finance facilities.

According to Richard Woodhouse, Chapel Down’s chief financial officer, the magnitude of the latter arrangement is “a measure of how far the [English wine] industry has come”.

In addition to still and sparkling wines, Chapel Down makes a range of grape-based spirits, including a Bacchus gin, Chardonnay vodka and Pinot Noir gin.

Mark Harvey, Chapel Down’s chief commercial officer, told The Spirits Business: “Spirits continue to be an important part of Chapel Down’s business.

“This funding will help us scale up faster with investment in building state of the art e-commerce capabilities – now the number one sales channel for our gins and vodka.

“Likewise, spirits will benefit from a step-change in marketing investment to increase the awareness of our brand. This is a very exciting time for the company – both on wines and spirits.”

The producer closed its London-based Gin Works microdistillery in February 2020 due to a lack of footfall, but stated that its gin and vodka range was not affected.

In April, Chapel Down completed the sale of its beer and cider arm, Curious Drinks, to private equity firm Risk Capital Partners, citing the ramifications of the closure of the on-trade due to Covid-19.

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