Beverage maker Kenyan Originals kick starts fund raising to spearhead expansion plan

KENYA – Kenyan Originals, Craft beverages maker, has launched its crowdfunding round aiming to raise US$700,000 to boost expansion plans.

The financial backing will enable the drinks maker to expand production capacity of its ciders, tonics, mixers and the newly launched spirits line, alongside increasing its market share in the highly competitive local market dominated by players such as East African Breweries Limited and Kenya Wines Agency Limited.

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The company also produces a range of non-alcoholic iced teas such as Lime & Ginger and Hibiscus & Lime Iced Tea.

“The reason why it’s a good time is we have a lot of interesting things, but we haven’t yet really leveraged them. We are going to see the benefits of the spirits and other lines in the business coming over in the next two years,” said Alexandra Chappatte, Founder of the company.

The crowdfunding which went live on June 7th 2022, on Crowdcube – a UK-based platform, offers a minimum ticket size of £10 (US$10.7m) and the maximum £50,000 (US$53,600).

Investors are set to get dividends once it is profitable, which is expected in a year. The firm, with an average growth rate of 40 per cent annually, has ambitions to hit an annual turnover of US$25 million in the next four years.

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Kenyan Originals is valued at US$10 million and Ms Chappatte projects that investors would multiply their investments tenfold in two years.

‘’We’ve got great momentum on our beverages specifically tonics and Ciders and we’re about to do a new pack change as well. We need to invest in the brand to get it to a higher level,” she said

Kenyan Originals was launched in 2018 with a mixture of seed funding from Alex and Chandaria Capital as the first investors.

The firm produces beverages using ingredients sourced from local farmers which are then crafted at its Nairobi’s based facility in Baba Dogo area with a production capacity of 2,000 bottles daily.

It has three brands under its umbrella including Kenyan Originals, African Originals and 58, with its products being sold in over 1,800 outlets countrywide.

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Crowdfunding is fairly new in the Kenyan market but there is presence of online fundraising platforms such as M-Changa and Pezesha which operate debt-based funding platforms.

In response as to its choice of the British platform, Ms Chappatte highlighted that, “We’ve never used this platform. We wanted to trial and test it in something that was set up and that people had confidence in. If we see it works, we’d be open to doing it locally.”

About £1 billion (US$ billion) has been invested in over 1,000 businesses that raised funds through Crowdcube, which has over 1.2 million members.

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