Help The American Economy! (And Be Part of An Awesome Community Of Equity Punk Investors At The Same Time)
For the past four years, you (and anyone else who would listen to me) have heard me talk and seen me write endlessly about how equity crowdfunding and the JOBS Act will be a game-changer for the American economy. Two weeks ago, I was proud to launch the first JOBS Act Regulation A+ offering on BankRoll for an incredible craft beer company called BrewDog and to watch them raise more than $1,000,000 in the first 72 hours.
At the same time, I watched BrewDog and BankRoll prove that everything I have been preaching is about to become a reality. The rumors are true, for only $95 you can own a piece of a revolutionary craft brewery in the U.S. that will brew beer like you have never tasted before from a company that treats its investors like no other I have ever seen. Even if you do not read anything else, please read the next two paragraphs so I can explain why this is so unique, particularly in the world where there is no shortage of reports on corporate greed (both valid and exaggerated).
BrewDog takes beer seriously — the company is the home to three of only eleven Master Cicerones in the world (the beer world equivalent of a Master Sommelier) and has won more awards than I could possibly list here for its phenomenal lineup of craft beers. They also take their investor community very seriously — BrewDog’s “Equity Punks” get special perks from discounts on BrewDog products to investor-only invites to special events like their AGM — “annual general mayhem” — where great beer, awesome food and incredible bands collide in the craziest shareholder meeting you will ever see. BrewDog went from two guys and a dog brewing beer at home to a renowned UK company employing 600+ people and distributing beer in 50+ countries. The fact that they are the fastest growing food and drink company in the UK several years running is due in no small part to their rabid fans/shareholders who are their community, brand ambassadors and beer evangelists.
As serious as BrewDog is about their beer and business model, they are just as fearless about marketing their brand in unique ways nobody else has the audacity to even attempt. From parachuting taxidermied cats dressed in business suits with their UK prospectus attached out of a BrewDog helicopter all over London, to hiring a dwarf to protest ridiculous beer laws outside of parliament, to driving a tank through London towards the stock exchange — BrewDog knows how to keep their name and brand in the news and to get their community of punk investors invigorated.
Now, they are ready to do the same on this side of the pond.
You are going to start hearing about BrewDog in the news soon. They are building a $30 million state-of-the-art, eco-friendly brewery in Columbus, Ohio to service their U.S. expansion. The brewery and the bars they will open (their UK company already owns 44 bars around the world already from Tokyo to Sao Paulo and all over Europe) in America will employ hundreds of workers who will all be paid a living wage. They will soon have distribution in stores and bars and restaurants around the country and you will start seeing their flagship beer Punk IPA popping up all over the place.
It is remarkable to think this rapidly growing brand’s entire business model started with two things: great quality products and equity crowdfunding.
In the UK, BrewDog has used equity crowdfunding to raise more than $33 million from 46,000+ investors who have fueled their growth and made them the fastest growing food and drink company in the UK for the past four years. BrewDog turned to yours truly, and my JOBS Act and Regulation A+ Mini-IPO funding platform BankRoll, to do the same for their expansion through their U.S. company. And by pricing their minimum investment at $95, BrewDog has made owning a piece of their brewery, a bit of their brand, and most important to them, a part of their culture, affordable for almost anyone.
Oh yeah, and you get the discounts, the annual meeting invite, and the other perks also.
You see, BrewDog gets it. I love that they are, in my opinion, the first business to use Regulation A+ the right way. They look at their offering right now as opportunity to not only raise capital, but to build their community of Punk investors, and to grow their brand in the biggest market for craft beer in the world. Regulation A+ is about democratizing the investment process. Companies can raise money from anyone, and anyone can invest in these companies. The days of behind-closed-door special deals for Wall Street insiders and wealthy fat cats don’t apply to Regulation A+, or to companies like BrewDog. The average person on the street can invest in BrewDog, own a small piece of the company, and become part of an amazing community of investors who are all valued and treated like true stakeholders regardless of the size of their investment.
I have watched many companies on other platforms try to raise capital for the last year using this groundbreaking law, and nearly all of them did it completely wrong. Good companies got bad advice and looked at the Mini-IPO like a traditional investment vehicle limited their ability to succeed with the crowd by requiring a $5,000 minimum investment, for example.
Seriously, did anyone stop to think how many in the crowd who were not allowed to legally invest in early stage companies until the JOBS Act passed (because they were not “accredited” i.e. “rich enough”) — can afford to invest $5,000 in a startup? No wonder those offerings had lackluster results. They priced out the people who know, love and understand the concept of crowdfunding.
BrewDog gets it. They understand the law, and they understand their market. BrewDog understands that that $95 investor is going to want to buy and drink BrewDog beer, and is going to go to the BrewDog bar, and is going to post photos of them drinking their BrewDog beer at the BrewDog bar on their Facebook page. They are going to bring their friends to the bar for dinner and an awesome craft beer lineup. BrewDog values that $95 investor the same a $50,000 who invested at that level so they could have a four-day trip to Scotland for a beer dinner with the founders and a 1⁄4 cask of BrewDog’s soon-to-hit-the-market Lone Wolf Whisky. Whether you are a $95 Equity Punk, or a $50,000 Equity Punk — you are an Equity Punk to BrewDog, and a hugely important part of their company, their culture and their community.
So, in the next few months when you start reading about some of the “crazy” things BrewDog will do to market and promote their brand, keep this in mind: This is a different kind of corporate inversion we should all be excited to hear about. BrewDog is creating jobs in America. They will employ hundreds of people at their brewery, their distributors, their BrewDog bars that will open. They will pump money into the U.S. economy through taxes, through retail and wholesale sales, and in countless other ways.
And, it is all made possible because of the JOBS Act and Regulation A+. That $95 investment in BrewDog is the perfect example of what this law was made for. This is Main Street meets Wall Street. This is equity crowdfunding at its best and a reminder that capitalism dos not have to be a dirty word. This can change the American economy once companies understand that BrewDog’s model is exactly what this law, and crowdfunding, was made for. It can change the American economy forever, and for the better.
I am proud to be a small part of BrewDog’s punk revolution that allows everyone to benefit from the brilliant business James Watt and Martin Dickie have built. James and Martin are the two guys who built this craft beer empire through crowdfunding, without ever compromising on the quality of their product or the integrity of their business and brand.
There is a valuable lesson to be learned here, and one that truly has the ability to change the American economy forever.
To view BrewDog’s Regulation A+ stock offering on BankRoll, and to join become an Equity Punk, click here.