Black Sheep Coffee bags major funding for global expansion and online development
Black Sheep Coffee has raised £13 million from private investors, bringing the indie retailer’s total funding to £25 million since launching in 2013.
Amongst the backers are: Tellef Thorleifsson, CEO of Norfund and Co-founder of Northzone Fund; Bill Shultz, President of Coca-Cola Canada and Board member at Coca-Cola Global; Tore Myrholt, currently Chairman for the Board at Antler and former Chairman of McKinsey Consulting Group; and Jacob Schram, former CEO at CircleK. Private investors from earlier rounds include CFO of Carluccio’s Frank Bandura, Le Pain Quotidien’s Ian Zilberkweit and celebrity poker players Martin Jacobson and Mustapha Kanit.
The majority of Black Sheep Coffee’s shops are in its home city of London, but it plans to use the cash for expansion throughout Asia, the US, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the GCC region, starting with UAE this summer, with the aim of growing its number of sites from 34 to 70 by the end of 2019. It will also look to further develop its newly launched e-commerce platform, where customers can buy its coffee beans, gift cards, branded bamboo reusable cups and hoodies and t-shirts.
Gabriel Shohet and Eirik Holth, Co-founders and co-CEOs of Black Sheep Coffee, say: “We have made a conscious effort to stay clear of institutional investors in order to keep our independence and long-term vision for the brand. As we continue to grow globally, we’ll continue to adhere to our core values: sourcing the best beans in the world, hire the best baristas in town, get rid of plastic, support our homeless communities, never fear competition, open right next door instead.”
Tellef Thorleifsson, who was an early investor in Spotify, comments: “I’m really looking forward to seeing how Black Sheep Coffee continues to grow and take the specialist coffee industry by storm. It is on a transformative journey and its tagline to “leave the herd behind” is a true embodiment of what Eirik and Gabriel are achieving as they continue to stand out from the crowd.”