In order to grow their startup best-selling stevia sweetened iced tea Naturbursche, entrepreneurs Britta Henkelmann and Dagmar Hemschenherm partnered with Companisto for their newly launched equity crowdfunding campaign. Prevalued at 1,500,000 €, Naturbursche seeks to raise a minimum of 50,000€ on its campaign; in just two days, over 18,280€ was amassed by nearly 115 investors.
Using the capital they raise from Companisto investors, founders Henkelmann and Hemschenherm plan to expand their product’s distribution network and increase their marketing and advertising activities. In return for their investment, investors will participate in the company’s potential profits, a potential increase in the company value, and in the company’s potential sale to an investor according to their share in Naturbursche.
Prior to founding Naturbursche, co-founder Britta Henkelmann worked in the food industry for many years:
“At some point, I was wondering about the meaning of what I was doing; I wanted to change the way we eat and drink and make it more healthy without sacrificing taste,” Henkelmann (who is a dietitian by training) shared. “To us, this seems only logical because equity crowdfunding enables many people to invest in a solid business concept. We want more people to invest in a healthy diet that does not conflict with good taste and enjoyment.”
When the EU finally approved stevia plant extracts as a sweetener in 2011, Henkelmann wanted this traditional South American sweetener to be used in Germany as well. Naturbursche was born.
Extracts from the stevia plant, which grows in the highlands of Paraguay and Brazil, taste sweet, yet have no calories. The plant’s leaves contain a natural substance that can be used as a sweetener. In 2013, Wiesbaden-based entrepreneurs Britta Henkelmann and Dagmar Hemschenherm came up with the idea of creating iced tea that is sweetened using only stevia, contains no artificial sweeteners, is sugar-free and fructose-free, is tooth-friendly, and contains as little as one calorie per 100 ml.
The German beverage start-up Naturbursche produces iced tea sweetened using only extracts from the South American stevia plant; the company’s iced tea does not contain any sugar or artificial sweeteners. The company’s iced tea sales have been growing strongly from 150,000 to 400,000 since late 2014 and is sold in more than 2,500 stores of major drugstore and grocery retail chains in Germany and abroad.
“Health-conscious families, fitness enthusiasts, diabetics, vegans, and vegetarians in particular have reacted very positively. Roughly 70 % of Naturbursche first-time customers buy our product again,” says Dagmar Hemschenherm, who is a vegetarian herself.
For more campaign details and financial information about Naturbursche’s Companisto campaign, please click here.
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