Sweet returns: Sawade investors who have their interest paid out in chocolate will receive annual interest of 12 % instead of 8 %.
Last week the Berlin chocolatier Sawade embraced a new approach to growth financing, offering venture loans on Companisto. Venture loans are a new asset class for the maverick German equity crowdfunding platform. Venture loans offer a fixed interest rate of 8 % p.a. With the confidence (and sweet tooth) of over 275 investors, Sawade swiftly raised more than 255,350€ since the campaign’s 18 August launch, overfunding by 255%. The maximum raise is 1,000,000€ with the campaign due to close 18 December.
Founded in 1880, Sawade once catered to the Prussian court. One can imagine the delectable decadence! In the summer of 2013, the company became insolvent due to poor management, according to Companisto. Soon after, Berlin entrepreneurs Benno and Melanie Hübel put in a bid for the chocolatier, outbidding 30 other interested parties.
“When we visited the production facilities for the first time, we discovered a sleeping beauty,” shared Benno Hübel, owner and managing director of Sawade. “Every day, we are motivated by the will to help this legendary Berlin brand succeed again.”
To make Sawade profitable again, Hübel engaged the employees’ long experience in hopes of a successful brand relaunch and expansion. In the first complete fiscal year since the acquisition (2014/2015), revenues increased by approximately 30 % from €3.1m to €4.0m; Sawade also exports its products to other countries (e.g., to China and Belgium).
As a medium-sized business, Sawade could have taken out conventional bank loans as well. “We deliberately decided in favor of equity crowdfunding. Together with the crowd, we want to make the Sawade brand successful again and reach new target groups,” says Benno Hübel. As a special offer to chocolate enthusiasts, Sawade will also enable investors to have their interest paid out in Sawade chocolate products. Investors who have their interest paid out in chocolate will receive annual interest of 12% instead of 8%.
These venture loans will be granted for a period 4 years. Companisto wants to use the new asset class to offer an innovative new type of financing suitable for established and medium-sized growth companies as well.
“Venture loans will expand Companisto’s product range and offer investors an attractive way of diversifying their portfolio,” says Companisto Managing Director Tamo Zwinge. “At the moment, Companisto is preparing financing campaigns for several interesting growth companies, the first of which will be traditional Berlin chocolate factory Sawade.”
For more detailed information on Sawade’s nascent venture loan campaign on Companisto, click here.
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