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Cracka Wines’ $5m plan

Dean Taylor2Cracka Wines have announced its plans to raise $5m from its 250,000 customers.

The Sydney-based online wine retailer is currently preparing to expand its direct-to-consumer marketplace into Asia.

CEO Dean Taylor has appointed Equitise, an online equity crowdfunding, to manage what will be Australia’s first and largest major crowd-sourced funding raise when the bill is enacted later this year.

“Since it’s launch in 2010, Cracka has been committed to building a marketplace that allows consumers to connect directly with producers, cutting out the middleman and releasing value that can be shared between them. We’ve developed a robust, highly scalable technology platform that produces significant sales volumes for our winery partners here in Australia. It’s time to expand our horizons to allow the small and medium wineries that we work with to sell to consumers all around the world,” Taylor said.

“Giving our most loyal customers the opportunity to invest aligns with our longer term vision to take the company public. While we are too small to do this just yet, we see a crowd sourced funding raise through a platform like Equitise as the first step in this direction. It’s a great vehicle for a pre-IPO round providing both expansion capital and diversifying our investor pool.”

Equitise, who have raised over $20 million of capital for 27 different companies through their New Zealand platform to date, are also thrilled to have Cracka Wines on board as the first Australian crowd-sourced equity funding campaign and believe their direct-to-consumer marketplace model is a perfect fit.

“Cracka Wines is an innovative business with a brand that punches well above its weight. They have a large and highly engaged database of active customers who we expect will jump at the chance to invest. It’s important that our first retail offer in Australia is not only wildly successful but also a business which has a well established brand and profile in the market, so we were very excited when they approached us to run this process for them,” said co-founder and director of Equitise, Chris Gilbert.

Equitise co-founder Jonny Wilkinson also praised the government for taking a huge step forward in support of Australian innovation “equity crowd funding has been a long time coming in Australia and will allow companies like Cracka Wines to better utilise their customer and supplier networks for growth and expansion.”

According to Taylor, customers who choose to invest in Cracka will also enjoy a range of shareholder benefits. They are expecting to gain more traction from their loyal customers, “so [it] makes sense to give them priority access, preferential pricing and invitations to special events.”

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