Matugga Distillery smashes £300,000 crowdfunding target

With more than two weeks remaining in its first equity crowdfunding campaign, Matugga Distillery has passed its ambitious fundraising target of £300,000.

Matugga Distillery smashes £300,000 crowdfunding target

Jacine and Paul Rutasikwa

The UK’s first Black female-owned distillery has welcomed more than 200 new shareholders who have bought into the company’s plans to take Scottish rum worldwide by blending distilling skills honed in Scotland with its proud African and Caribbean roots.

Now, with funds secured to invest in new distillery kit and to expand Matugga’s team, the married co-founders Jacine Rutasikwa and Ugandan-born Paul Rutasikwa 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 will 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.

“We are fortunate to have the contacts, cultural affinity, family ties and product-market fit to be an early mover. We want to supply our unique, high-quality spirit to rum drinkers around the world, and to convert many new ones along the way.”

The company, which has a pre-money valuation of more than £1.2m, is currently at full-capacity. The fresh funding will enable the Matugga Distillery to fulfil high-demand for its products.

At the launch of the firm’s crowdfunding campaign, MD Jacine cited the “systemic inequalities”” facing black entrepreneurs as a “significant factor” in their decision to explore crowdfunding. She puts the company’s Crowdcube success down to one thing above all else.

She said: “We make fantastic rum. We know our worth and we are focused. We make a product that is worth backing and we know that because of all the incredible feedback we get from customers. I hope our funding success will inspire other entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds. Our love, our passion and our attention to detail shines through in everything we do.

“Not only do people get invested in our products, but they become invested in our story. People think what we’re doing is different, and there’s been incredible support and goodwill from our community.“

Now more than 200 people part-own the UK’s most diverse and pioneering rum distillery.

Crowdcube’s platform allows the firm to seek further funding beyond its initial target. With 15 days left of the campaign, Jacine is calling on rum lovers everywhere to continue to show their support.

She added: “We’ve faced huge challenges along the way, it hasn’t been easy - we’ve had to be incredibly resilient, so we’re incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved, and we’re so grateful to everyone who has invested.

“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. When people think ‘rum’ we want them to think of Scotland alongside the World’s best.“

France is another key market in its expansion plans. And this weekend, Matugga is exhibiting at Rhum Fest Paris (Paris’ Rum festival), where it will unveil its exciting new branding and packaging.

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