Monday Distillery — a non-alcoholic manufacturer based in Geelong — is launching a crowdfunding campaign for its parent company, Higher State Beverage Co, with expressions of interest now open.
Higher State Beverage Co has doubled in revenue since its inception back in 2016, with Lunae Sparkling sitting under its umbrella alongside Monday Distillery.
So why would a business that’s been so successful already turn to crowdfunding?
For founder Samantha Manning and partner Haydn Farley, it “just makes sense”— and that’s thanks to the brands’ highly-engaged community.
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Across social channels, the two brands have more than 35,000 followers, and Farley says the company itself also has people writing in all the time, excited about the concept of being able to share in a slice of the business.
After all, Higher State Beverage Co has always been customer-first.
“Our journey was not about what market research was telling us were hot categories,” Farley explains.
“It was Lunae customers going ‘I love your product and I feel like I’m drinking something special, but I’m not drinking alcohol’. That’s what led us to Monday.
“We weren’t trying to follow anything. We were just listening to the community.”
Keeping their ears open to the community is exactly why the co-owners have chosen to go down the crowdfunding route opposed to other, more traditional founding avenues.
“It’s giving the people that believed in us, understood us and gave us the foresight that this is something [consumers wanted] a chance to invest, so it’s circled back to its origins.”
Once the campaign launches on crowdfunding platform Equitise, these consumers will have the chance to become co-owners for as little as $250.
The goal is to reach $1.2 million — an investment that would be split between both brands — which will allow for further development of new product varieties, expand on brick-and-mortar distribution, and pursue international growth.
The Dry July finish line
Manning and Farley are hoping to have the public raise launched by the end of the month while Dry July is still taking place, which means cutting a normally eight-week long process down to around four or five.
Wanting the process to move quickly has a lot to do with the captive audience at the moment, as many Australian consumers are becoming more aware of non-alcoholic options, and wanting to take a break from alcohol themselves.
“I think if we were to do it in the festive season, people would get a little bit caught up in the festivities and forget about the great [non-alcoholic] products out there,” Farley said.
But the raise happening sooner rather than later will also help Higher State Beverage Co capitalise on its two brands making waves in the booming market, along with the upswell of the non-alcoholic space in Australia which is “well and truly here”, Manning says.
“Monday Distillery has been in the market now for three years and we want to be able to pivot and have the brand more accessible. We’ve managed to ride through COVID-19, and have all the growth that we’ve had during that time,” she said.
“Now we need to take it to the next level, [and] we want to be able to show people that from little things, big things can grow.”
“But to become big things, we need the resources to do it.”