- Subscription gin and sparkling wine service wins investment from Sarah after competitive pitch with fellow Dragons
- Craft Clubs has to date sent more than 25,000 bottles of craft gin and sparkling wine to members across the UK
- Investment will be shown on first show of the new series on Sun 24 July, BBC2, 9pm
- Willingham will take an advisory role in the company as it expands in 2016
Craft Clubs, the company behind subscription drinks service Craft Gin Club and Bubble Club, has secured an investment of £75,000 from food and drink entrepreneur and London Cocktail Club co-founder Sarah Willingham.
The first show of the new series will show Craft Clubs co-founders Jon Hulme and John Burke receiving the investment in return for 12.5% stake in their start-up and an advisory role from Willingham within the company as it seeks to expand and grow over the next twelve months.
Willingham was named one of The Sunday Times’ 500 Most Influential People in Britain in January 2016, and has been a Dragon since March 2015. Together with her business partners, Sarah will take an active role in guiding the subscription service, which already sends more than 4,000 bottles of gin and sparkling wine each month to members across the UK.
Jon Hulme and John Burke are business school friends who met whilst studying in Madrid. They hit upon the idea for Craft Gin Club whilst reminiscing over their favourite, Spanish style gin tonics in a London bar and launched their business in January 2015. The pair went into their Dragons’ Den experience hoping to attract Willingham’s investment, impressed by her success and experience in the food and beverage industry.
Sarah Willingham said: “When you’re sitting there in the Den you genuinely have no idea who will come through the lift door next, but as soon as I heard Craft Clubs’ pitch I knew it was a business I wanted to be a part of. John and Jon are two great entrepreneurs with a fantastic idea backed up by a really solid and scalable business plan. Not only do we all share a passion for business, we also get pretty excited about a great gin and tonic, which I’m sure will make board meetings fun!’
Hulme said: “We entered the Dragons’ Den process really excited about the prospect of working with Sarah. She and her team have an incredible amount of experience in the drinks space, and we’re hoping that Craft Clubs can really benefit from their combined wisdom. This is a great outcome for us, and hopefully for Sarah and her team as well.”
Burke added: “We’re really looking forward to working closely with Sarah. We went onto the show looking for an investment of time as well as money, so to find a backer with Sarah’s level of success – alongside a real willingness to be involved and help us guide our young company – is a real win. With her help, we’re looking forward to launching into new categories making the Craft Clubs experience even better for our members.”
About Craft Clubs
Craft Clubs’ mission is to reinvent the way drinks lovers discover and enjoy new drinks.
The London-based company, founded in January 2015, currently operates two brands, Craft Gin Club and Bubble Club.
Craft Gin Club and Bubble Club are the UK’s number one discovery clubs for gin enthusiasts and fans of sparkling wine respectively. Each month club members receive a surprise box featuring craft gin or sparkling wines from small, high quality producers, together with complimentary mixers, cocktail ingredients and other treats, as well as a club magazine.
For small producers, we offer a marketing platform with unparalleled reach across our web, print and social media presences. Craft Clubs was featured on the 2016 Startups 100 list of the UK’s hottest startups and featured on BBC Dragon’s Den in the summer of 2016.
Jon Hulme: email@example.com (+44 7854 417654)
John Burke: firstname.lastname@example.org (+44 7944 468235)