LIVINGSTON RUM DISTILLERY HAS SMASHED CROWDFUNDING TARGET
A Livingston-based rum distillery has broken its initial crowdfunding goal raising £300,253 with 15 days left on the campaign.
Co Founded by married couple Paul and Jacine Rutasikwa (pictured above), Matugga Distillery is the first black, female owned distillery in the UK.
The company has added more than 200 new shareholders following the fundraiser with plans to take Scottish rum worldwide by blending distilling skills honed in Scotland, with its African and Caribbean roots.
The new money will let the company invest in new distillery kit, as well as expanding the team. The couple hope to attract further investment to help accelerate their export plans.
Head distiller Paul, who is beginning work on a sugarcane plantation in his native Uganda, which aims to make Matugga a “cane to cask” producer, said: “The African market is buoyant, but craft drinks companies in the UK don’t see the opportunity.
When it comes to export, UK companies immediately think of Asia and North America – but they are missing out on huge demand, appetite and spending power across African nations.”
He added: “We are fortunate to have the contacts, cultural affinity, family ties and product-market fit to be an early mover.”
The company, which has a pre-money valuation of more than £1.2m, is currently at full-capacity. The new funding should enable it to fulfil this demand for its products.
At the launch of the firm’s crowdfunding campaign, managing director Jacine cited the “systemic inequalities” facing black entrepreneurs as a significant factor in their decision to explore crowdfunding.
She said: “We make fantastic rum. I hope our funding success will inspire other entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds.
People think what we’re doing is different, and there’s been incredible support and goodwill from our community.”
Crowdcube’s platform allows the firm to seek further funding beyond its initial target – and the campaign still has several days left.
Jacine added: “The journey is far from over – rum is on the up and there aren’t many other dedicated rum distilleries in the UK that you can invest in – there’s still time to become part of Matugga and help us take Scottish rum worldwide.”