Big Drop Brewing has raised cash during the crisis

Fast-growing startups have still been able to raise cash, despite the coronavirus leading to a sharp reduction in overall investment activity. 

Chilli-infused soft drinks manufacturer Nix & Kix is understood to be near to closing a major funding round in the coming days, while gum producer Blockhead raised £800k of angel investment at the end of March.

Meanwhile, on crowdfunding platform Seedrs, fmcg startups have managed to hit targets with days to spare ahead of closing their campaigns.

Alcohol-free craft brewer Big Drop Brewing and DTC fresh dogfood provider Different Dog raised £531k and £798k respectively, though both saw a slowdown due to the coronavirus crisis in the UK.

“The day we went on Seedrs was literally when the coronavirus was kicking off, so the first couple of weeks were really slow,” said Different Dog founder Charlie Thurstan.

“It is accelerating a bit at the moment, as people are getting more comfortable with the lockdown situation.”

He added: “Overall Seedrs is definitely quiet, there are fewer businesses on there than usual and lots of people are feeling financial pain. But there are businesses which are doing well because of the coronavirus, for example DTC businesses like ours, and are feeling strong support at the moment.”

Both brands had hoped to overfund. Big Drop founder Rob Fink said discussions with potential investors were still ongoing and with nine days left of the campaign there was a “reasonable chance” the brand would significantly overfund.

However, he added: “In the present climate I would be more than satisfied if we overfund by 5% or 10%.”

Japanese-style startup Miso Tasty has hit over 80% of its target so far, with 28 days left until the end of its campaign.

The brand had been a crowdfunding success, raising £150k in just four hours in 2018 and a further £150k in 36 hours the year before.

Overall, Seedrs reported a 20% drop on the average investment levels for this time of the year, reflecting a slowdown in activity both in terms of campaigns going live and volumes of investments