Camden Town Brewery has been sold to the biggest beer juggernaut in the world. 3 lessons.

The story is well known: Camden Town Brewery, a famous craft beer brand with three venues in London and four different kinds of beers, has been acquired by beer giant AB Inbev, which also produces the world famous Stella and Corona beers.

The acquisition was concluded in December with a £85 million evaluation. This isn’t a particularly high figure for an enormous sector like this one, where deals usually boast one or two extra zeros.

The news is that many investors, 2173 to be precise, have had a return of about 70% in 8 months. CamdenTown Brewery is one of the first success stories involving a European crowdfunding platform.

The campaign was launched on Crowdcube, the leading portal in Europe, and ended last summer with £2.75 million funding and a company valuation of about £50 million.

3 lessons to be drawn from this story:

“Go big or go home” is not the only investment strategy available. For years, we’ve been told that seed investing makes sense only for companies in the digital space. Well, copious amounts of beer have shown that there are other possible investment strategies facilitated by crowdfunding.

“Show me the money”: crowdfunding is a real investment tool, with many limits that still need to be addressed, but if used with caution, as is always advisable when dealing with money, you can get attractive returns.

“So much thunder that it rained”. UK platforms are a reference to the equity crowdfunding sector. They were desperately waiting for an exit and here it is: Seedrs, Crowdcube and Crowdbnk are excellent platforms run by a management team that is changing the rules of this sector. The arrival of an exit is good news for Crowdcube and, at the same time, for its competitors.

One more thing….

Are crowdfunding evaluations exaggerated, perhaps inflated by SEIS? Maybe yes, but as long as everybody’s dancing, music is pumping and alcohol flowing, who cares?

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Note: At iStarter, the London-based Italian accelerator of which I am managing director, we continuously work with the main players mentioned in the article. If you want to know more: or twitter @cimminelli

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