Watt crowdfunds £2.5m for new business and snares Dragon

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

New venture: James Watt crowdfunds more than £2m for Social Tip including investment from Steven Bartlett
New venture: James Watt crowdfunds more than £2m for Social Tip including investment from Steven Bartlett

Related tags Finance Brewdog James watt

Former BrewDog CEO James Watt has raised more than £2.5m for his new business venture through crowdfunding.

The ex-BrewDog boss initially aimed to raised £1m for his brand building firm, Social Tip, but the final total hit £2,544,966.40 from 1,325 investors via Crowdcube earlier this week.

Watt said: “These amazing investors will also act as advisors to the business and between them they have built and ran tech multiple multibillion dollar tech businesses.”

Real struggles 

In addition, after urging investors from BBC’s Dragons’ Den​ to invest in the new venture, Watt confirmed via LinkedIn that Dragon, entrepreneur and podcaster Steven Bartlett had joined the team as an “investor and advisor”.

Watt previously shared a video to LinkedIn addressing the venture capitalists and TV personalities, offering them the opportunity to invest in his new business after they “missed out” on investing in BrewDog following the brand’s appearance on the show.

However, the BrewDog “captain” also detailed the “very real struggles” and risks involved with investing in new businesses, like Social Tip, on LinkedIn.

The post said: “Social Tip’s viability is dependent on getting tens of thousands of users to the platform. If we cannot do this, the business fails.

Brand advocacy 

“To grow our user base, we are going to encourage members to make their first qualifying post about Social Tip which should help create a flywheel.

“Additionally, we are working with partner brands to promote Social Tip to their audiences. Plus, we have a few interesting marketing concepts up our sleeves too!”

Introducing the business last month​, Watt described Social Tip as being in the “brand building space” with a focus on “building community and rewarding everyday people for genuine brand advocacy and love”.

Watt founded the Ellon-based brewing and pub operating business with Martin Dickie in 2007 before stepping down as BrewDog’s CEO​ in May and was succeeded by COO​​ James Arrow.

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