On the day former soft drinks darling Fevertree Drinks PLC (LON:FEVR) lost nearly a quarter of its market value following a profit warning, another mixer maker, Skinny Tonic (PRIVATE:SKTON) revealed that it has had to close its crowdfunding campaign 15 days early due to over demand.
All told, Skinny Tonic – the company behind the first zero calorie, zero sugar, and 100% natural mixer to launch nationwide in the UK – raised nearly £1,565,000, which was 300% overfunded, with the firm having sought to raise £500,003.
The current round is an extension of an additional £265,358 the firm raised on Seedrs between July and September 2019.
Steve Wilkinson, a founding director of Skinny Tonic commented: ‘’We are delighted with the overwhelming demand for our raise and I apologise to the investors who have unfortunately missed out.
“We have been told it was one of the most successful raises ever in the food and beverage sector on a crowdfunding platform.”
He added: “During this raise we have managed to connect and engage with some strategic investors worldwide, which is perfectly timed for our new range of six different flavours to be launched in February.”
Skinny Tonic was created in 2014 by company founder Ian Minton – a sufferer of type 1 diabetes – as a tonic water that allows him to enjoy a G&T without the fear of his blood sugars spiking.
It is listed nationwide with supermarket group Asda, also has listings with Amazon.com, 31 Dover, Muscle Food and Costco, and has an agreement to launch with another national retailer in the first quarter of 2020.
The group has set up a bespoke fully automated manufacturing plant in Liverpool capable of producing 6,000 cans per hour.
The latest crowdfunding round involved over 500 investors and expanded Skinny Tonic’s strong and supportive shareholder base, which includes some big hitters in the city like Gino Palmeri and Gareth Norton at GPIM Investment Managers.
The City backers will be hoping that Skinny Tonic – which could consider a stock market listing in the future – can replicate the performance of Fevertree which listed on London’s AIM market in November 2014 with an initial valuation of just over £150mln.
The premium mixed group – which severely shook-up the staid world of tonics – rocketed to a valuation of over £4bn by July 2018.
However, that figure has halved now – with the shares down 24% to 1,508p on Monday – following a series of profit warnings.
Fevertree has racked up costs with an expansion into the US and this has coincided with softer trading, notably in the UK, as competitors have jumped on the G&T bandwagon.
Skinny Tonic’s founders would argue that their brand is not really competing with Fevertree, as its zero calorie, zero sugar products benefit as soft drink customers become more health conscious and start to take notice of what is in their drinks.