Partner:BFS & MSIF
Programme:Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund
Rockstar Spirits, a premium rum brand which sells unique flavours of spiced rum, has used a third round of funding from NPIF & GC Business Finance to meet heightened demand from pre-existing suppliers and invest in the development of two new rum flavours.
During the coronavirus pandemic, Rockstar Spirits switched its promotional strategy of in-store samplings to price promotions in order to win new customers. To maintain sales and continue growing the company, it approached GC Business Finance for financial support to strengthen cash flow. The company secured a five-figure NPIF loan backed by CBILS from NPIF – BFS & MSIF Microfinance, part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund
The Manchester-based business has launched Two Swallows Orange and Ginger, a new flavour of spiced rum, and has plans to launch another, Passionfruit Grenade, at Selfridges in August. It has already used the funding to continue supplying its products to major retailers including Sainsbury’s, Selfridges, Majestic Wines and Amazon, made possible by increasing their stockholding.
Whilst many retailers have reduced the range of alcoholic beverages they offer, Booths, the chain of high-end, northern supermarkets, has expanded its range of Rockstar Spirits products. With the addition of Two Swallows Cherry from August 15th, Booths will stock four different Rockstar Spirits flavours on its shelves.
GC Business Finance also provides alternative business finance options for growing businesses that have been unable to obtain funding through a mainstream lender. It offers loans ranging from £500 to £500,000, including business loans, CBILS, equity investment, export finance and micro finance.
Tom Hurst, owner and founder of Rockstar Spirits, said: “As people have increasingly settled in to enjoy a drink at home during the pandemic, we’ve had to adapt our ways of working significantly. The funding from NPIF & GC Business Finance allowed us to meet the growing demand from our retailers and our stockists while keeping some exciting things moving in the pipeline.
“We are really looking forward to the launch of our next new release, Banana Bomb. I’m certain that there is nothing else like this in the market so I’m confident that it will help Rockstar Spirits remain at the forefront of innovation and quality in the exciting growth category of spiced rum.”
Chris Hutchison, Head of Lending at GC Business Finance, said: “We’ve really enjoyed watching the growth of Rockstar Spirits and its recent progress is testament to the products it has developed and the brand to match. It has been great to see how the company has risen to the challenges of the pandemic and been agile in adapting to thrive. We are all looking forward to see where Tom and his team head next and how they continue to lead innovation in the premium spiced rum market.”
Sue Barnard, at British Business Bank, said: “Since its launch in 2017, NPIF’s impact on businesses has been wide-ranging, providing funding to launch new products, employ new staff, enter new markets and acquire new facilities. We are pleased that NPIF is continuing to unlock the North’s growth potential by supporting small growing businesses with vital investment.”
The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.
The MSIF group of funds are managed by Alliance Fund Managers Limited which is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the course of investment business. Financial Conduct Authority Registration Number is 180891.
BFS Funding Managers Limited is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority as a Small Authorised UK AIFM under firm reference number 608682.
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