MobCraft Beer, an award winning Madison craft brewery, announced that it has closed one of the first equity crowdfunding campaigns in the country. The campaign received an initial commitment of $75,000 from 57 investors, topping the Kickstarter brewery record of $71,000. The round ultimately closed with $67,000 in collected funds from 52 investors. “I am so excited about having 52 MobCraft Backers; they each bring different skills and experience to the table, and have already helped us work through some difficult decisions” said MobCraft Founder and President Henry Schwartz.
MobCraft conducted its raise on CraftFund, an innovative platform that democratizes capital by turning passionate customers into owners and advocates. CraftFund is piloting its concept in Wisconsin, one of the first states to adopt an investment crowdfunding law. Unlike rewards crowdfunding where backers donate money for a perk, the crowdfunding laws make it possible for the general public to buy shares in small businesses, an opportunity that has previously only been available to high net worth individuals. The Wisconsin law requires that Wisconsin companies make offers and sales only to Wisconsin residents.
MobCraft became one of the first companies in the country to take advantage of changing laws when it launched the first Wisconsin investment crowdfunding campaign. CraftFund CEO David Dupee believes this is first time a U.S. brewery has given up a percentage of its company to customers similar to what pioneering Scottish brewer BrewDog did in the UK through its “Equity for Punks” campaign that turned over 15,000 customers into shareholders. “MobCraft is a trail blazer”, says Dupee. “That the initial investor commitment of the first campaign of its kind in the U.S. topped the more than 370 brewery campaigns on Kickstarter points to the pent up consumer demand for ownership experiences and the potential for equity crowdfunding as it develops here in U.S.”
MobCraft is no stranger to trail blazing. Having already been awarded a silver medal at Great American Beer Festival and been named Top New Brewery in Wisconsin by ratebeer.com, MobCraft utilizes a unique crowdsourced business model to turn ideas into beer. Each month fans vote on what beer they want brewed, the winning beer is brewed and can be shipped to customers in 40 states. “The crowd has created some awesome beers so far, and we really enjoy the connection we have with the monthly winners. When we learned we could bring our fans on as investors, it only made sense to use the power of the crowd to help fund our brewery as well.”