Weissenhaus, a posh resort located in Northern Germany on the Baltic Sea, has decided to return to the pages of Companisto to continue raising funds. The offer had raised € 6.3 million from 1478 investors but Companisto representatives stated that “due to constantly high demand, the equity based crowdfunding campaign will be relaunched for the last time and only for a short period [of time]”. Companisto also noted the offer had a stated minimum interest rate return of 4% and a private guarantee by internet millionaire Jan Henric Buettner the creator of the project.
Weissenhaus Grand Village Resort & Spa, a complex that includes a castle and living village with a 400 year history, has been in the process of being restored for 9 years. Following its grand re-opening, Weissenhaus received numerous accolades including a Michelin Start for its “Courtier” restaurant and a recognition of being “the best beach hotel” in Europe. Buettner has invested € 65 million into the resort to bring it up to, and beyond, the resort of his youth.
“Crowdfunding is a very recent type of investment, but it has huge potential for both putting interesting business ideas into practice and enabling private investors to expand their portfolio. By means of the Weissenhaus crowdfunding campaign, we wanted to create a flagship project that emphasized precisely this potential and to benefit from the considerable marketing effect of crowdfunding at the same time”.
The original investment opportunity was launched in July of 2014. The offer is a hybrid campaign where investors may receive various perks at different levels of participation – like a nights stay at the resort.
“It seems that our crowdfunding campaign reflected the zeitgeist. Once we had ended the funding campaign at more than 6.3 million euros in mid‐January as we had planned, we received the first inquiries from people still interested in an investment on that very same day. As demand did not decline in the days that followed, we have now decided to relaunch our crowdfunding campaign for one last time in order to enable additional investors to participate,” Jan Henric Buettner says.
Today Weissenhaus boasts 40 buildings (30 may be used by guests) on 75 hectares, 5 restaurants and a pre-booking occupancy rate of 50% for 2014. The project is expected to be breaking even now.
When Buettner originally purchased the resort there was a lot of chatter about the “mysterious internet millionaire” and speculation that he had to be a crazy. The castle was “derelict” and many buildings were over-grown. But then vision, commitment and risk taking can be a strange thing.
In commenting on investment crowdfunding, Beuttner is a believer; “It is my personal concern to change this situation because it is high time that entrepreneurs and private investors, particularly in Germany, interacted directly with each other without having to rely on outdated bank or investment company structures”.
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