Humble Grape, the independent wine merchant and wine bar business backed by the Cass Entrepreneurship Fund in 2014 has announced the details of its expansion plans and new crowdfunding campaign, seeking to raise up to £1 million.
The business, founded by Cass alumnus James Dawson, imports high quality, sustainable wines direct from small, family-owned vineyards. Humble Grape launched its second crowdfunding campaign on the 19th of March 2017. Following the success of their first two wine bar and retail sites, Humble Grape Battersea (2015) and Humble Grape Fleet Street (2016), the emerging brand has secured two new sites, to open this year.
With growing demand in the market for fresh approaches to wine retail and sustainably sourced wines, the company has grown quickly, importing over 400 wines from 11 different countries.
Founder James Dawson has chosen to raise funds via a crowdfunding platform Seedrs, to support future expansion beyond their fourth site, to a further two to four sites per year thereafter. The first Humble Grape crowdfunding campaign (2014) raised £360k alongside other private investors, including Cass Entrepreneurship Fund, for total fund raise of £535k. The new funding campaign aims to raise up to £1 million.
Despite having received keen interest from established investors, Dawson is committed to raising funds via crowdfunding to allow customers the opportunity to become part of Humble Grape's growth and to help shape its future.
“This is about offering our customers the opportunity to become further invested in Humble Grape. We've let customer feedback and input shape our brand so far and no matter how big we grow, I want this to continue. I believe in crowdfunding because it gives customers who believe in a brand the opportunity to become a part of its growth and share in its success. We’re all about bringing our customers closer to the source, connecting them with the winemakers and giving them access to wines that would otherwise be unavailable. I want Humble Grape to belong to the people who believe in what we are doing”
The expansion plans will see Humble Grape grow its footprint across London, with each maintaining a unique identity, taking into consideration local community and personalised USPs. Funds raised will go towards opening further sites and to grow the Wine Club, Wine Bank and e-commerce offering of the business.