The hard work was already done. Cerveza Mica, with more than twenty international awards, had no trouble raising 325,000 euros in a crowdfunding campaign during the crisis.
Before launching the equity crowdfunding campaign through the Fellow Funders platform, Juan Cereijo, CEO and founder of Cerveza Mica, felt hesitant. The alarm state had already been decreed, and it might not have been the best time to ask for money. However, some investors showed interest, and he was encouraged to go ahead with plans to launch the crowdfunding campaign on March 31. They raised the minimum initial participation ticket from €500 to €5,500 to target only professional investors. In a few days, they reached €325,000, about €65,000 more than the proposed goal.
Now, Juan Cereijo can only thank the platform. “Working with Fellow Funders has been fundamental. The trust has been absolute from the beginning, and we hope to continue to carry out more actions with them in the future”, states Cereijo.
The funds obtained will be allocated to professionalize marketing through a team of experts and consolidate the internationalization process, considering that they already sell in countries such as China, Russia, the United States, France, Switzerland, and Sweden.
The name ‘Cerveza Mica’ derives from the most characteristic mineral of the Fuentenebro mountain range, the only town with a high mountain climate in the Ribera del Duero, where the barley they use to produce their craft beers with a very peculiar flavor is grown. Cereijo saw a business opportunity and a way to distinguish itself in this and the craft beer boom. The brand already has several awards that recognize it as the best beer in the world. Moreover, it is the only craft beer in Spain with the IFS certificate in food safety and quality. Getting here is the result of a lot of previous work and innovation, which helped them to obtain a CDTI with which they created the first craft beer without alcohol.
All that said, Cerveza Mica’s accounts have not been affected by more than 40% due to the Covid crisis. With six years of experience and a factory with the capacity to brew a million liters of craft beer a year, the brand is positioned as a premium product with a distribution of customers, almost 50% between the restaurant and supermarket channels. And although beer consumption has increased with the crisis, the Horeca channel, which absorbs 90% of craft beer consumption, has suffered considerably. It is also worth mentioning that Cerveza Mica has online sales for the end customer. However, its percentage is lower in the company’s accounts because, as a business strategy, they focus on quality rather than volume.
LIVING THE PRESENT
Recovering from the situation and maintaining the pace of growth encouraged Cereijo to continue with the crowdfunding campaign and ask for an ICO loan, which he has already received. With this money, he aims to expand the workforce (currently with seven people) and strengthen the commercial and marketing area. They have also encouraged online sales in an attempt to transfer the physical user experience to the digital environment while supporting local businesses. The company has achieved it through the online sale of pairing packs in which, along with some of their beers, they propose products such as black pudding cream or local ‘churra’ sheep’s milk cheese.
However, Juan Cereijo has more ideas for once the state of alarm is over, and we must continue respecting the distance. “The advantage that we, the small ones, have is that we are more flexible and agile to adapt to the circumstances. We can do events in open spaces with fewer people or seek new experiences in the online channel, always thinking about the consumers of today, not those of the past. Anything but waiting for things to return to what they were before the crisis. You have to be realistic,” he says.