This is the first in a series of analyses conducted to identify common threads between the successful meadery projects on kickstarter.
Part 2, analyzing Vanaheim Gold’s project can be found here.
Part 3, analyzing Bee Well Meadery’s project can be found here.
Part 4, analyzing Algomah Acres’ project can be found here.
Part 5, analyzing Golden Coast Mead’s project can be found here.
Part 6, analyzing Leaky Roof Meadery’s project can be found here.
Part 7, analyzing Melovino Meadery’s project can be found here.
Part 8, analyzing Bos Meadery’s project can be found here.
Best Practices for Crowdfunding your Meadery, found here.
Crowdfunding your Meadery: An Analysis of Meadery Funding Raised on Kickstarter
New meadery owners face numerous challenges, from an intense regulatory burden designed to protect the existing of the beer and wine industries, to the time required to educate potential customers that mead is not just a mispronunciation of “meat.” Maybe most importantly, a meadery owner must also find the initial startup funding to create the meadery.
The upfront cost to enter the alcohol industry keeps many aspiring meadmakers from taking the plunge into the commercial market. It often takes more than a year to secure a winery license, during which rent is still being paid. Then there is the time it takes to ferment and age that batch before selling it on the market. When factoring in the costs of the fermenting and bottling equipment itself, and that honey as the primary fermentable is significantly more expensive than grapes (traditional wine) or cereal grains (beer), it is easy to see that it takes a small fortune to start a meadery. Luckily, recent changes in the crowdfunding marketplace provide a viable option for meaderies to seek funding directly from their potential customers before that first batch is ever started.
At the time of this writing, twenty meadery projects have sought funding through Kickstarter. Seven were successful in securing funding to start or expand a meadery. What set these seven projects apart from the others and led to their funding? Read on to find out.
What is Crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding is the process of acquiring small amounts of funding from a large number of people, compared to traditional venture capital funding in large increments from a small number of donors. The majority of crowdfunding to date has been rewards based; that is, for a given amount of money the funders will get a small reward. Equity crowdfunding (where donors buy an equity stake in the company) also exists, but for the purpose of this article, only rewards based crowdfunding is examined.
Kickstarter is the largest and most well-known crowdfunding site, and is the only platform considered in the following analysis. Other crowdfunding sites, such as Indiegogo, Crowdfunder, Rockethub, etc., may also be great options to seek meadery fundings. However, based on quick searches, Kickstarter was the most commonly used project for meadery funding projects. For those seeking more information about these platforms and which is best for you, see Top 10 Crowdfunding Sites for Fundraising, at Forbes.com.
Kickstarter Project Analysis
A search for keywords “mead” and “meadery” of the Kickstarter project database returned a total of 20 attempted projects, seven of which successfully met their funding goal. The successful funding goals ranged from $3,950 to $25,000, with an average project value of $13,311. The number of backers per successful project ranged from 47 to 218, and the average amount of funding provided per backer was $120. Figure 1 presents the funding goals and totals per meadery, and Figure 2 shows the number of backers and average backer contribution.
Check back soon for in-depth analysis of each meadery’s funding tier decisions, their performance in receiving backers at each funding tier, and an analysis of what rewards are the most successful when deciding on what you want to sell. I’m not sure the data will provide the best reward exactly, but there I believe there will be at least some correlation between the types of rewards purchased among each of these meaderies. For instance, I know I would be most interested in purchasing glassware (I already have enough t-shirts). But is that the most chosen reward among the meaderies? And how much money could you reasonably expect to make if you sold a pint glass for those session meads? And is a pint glass the most wanted glass type, or is it tulip shaped glass with a stem for the standard strength meads, or maybe even a tumbler for any sack or distilled meads? We’ll let you know what we find out as the week goes by.
Got any other analysis you’d like to know about meaderies and Kickstarter? Let us know in the comments section and we’ll try to include it in the upcoming series. And if you run a meadery and want to share your experience, we’d love to hear from you!