AUSTRALIA’S FIRST CROWD-FUNDED PUB NOW OPEN

In Fundraising by Clyde Mooney

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The Sporting Globe Plenty Valley has burst open, the result of an “overwhelming” response to the group’s idea of Australia’s first crowd-funded pub.

Courtesy of new crowdfunding legislation passed late last year, The Sporting Globe (TSG) launched a campaign through Birchal to garner interest in a new franchise venue at Mill Park, to be known as TSG Plenty Valley. The EOI campaign allowed interested parties to pledge between $50 and $10,000 for a stake.

The new concept for Australia drew extensive media coverage, TSG CEO James Sinclair extoling its virtues as creating “intrinsic loyalty” in the minor investors and the concept’s potential future in helping talented youngsters get access to capital.

The trailblazing fundraising had a target of $700,000, but the final tally eclipsed that, coming in mid-February at $1.2 million.

TSG had already begun construction on the new Plenty Valley venue, as well as another in Western Australia, due to open soon.

Yesterday (22 March) TSG Plenty Valley swung open the doors, in time for kick-off to AFL 2018. The sports-themed bar and grill accommodates 400 pax, with over 50 high-definition screens, ten VIP booths featuring touch-screen TVs, a video wall, and two alfresco areas.

“It was a strong day of opening trade, with crowds flocking to the precinct unveiling, providing a steady flow of patrons from 11am until late Thursday night after the AFL season launch,” reports venue manager Charelle Curic.

While the latest instalment, the tenth in Victoria, has initially opened as a company venue, there will soon be the ‘formal offer’ where the group will officially present the opportunity to the interested parties that pledged involvement.

“The Sporting Globe has been overwhelmed by the response to this EOI,” said Sinclair . “Crowdfunding is new to Australia and is an exciting avenue for investors of all levels to own a piece of their local sports bar and grill.”

Sinclair has flagged that the success of this initiative at Plenty Valley may see the group open more pubs this way in the future. Comparable crowdfunding laws have been in place in the UK for several years, bringing a lot of investment by private citizens into hospitality – saving a number of Britain’s struggling country pubs.

 

TSG incorporates a ‘National Team Sponsorship Program’, which last year donated more than $120,000 to local grassroots sporting clubs.

James Sinclair at Plenty Valley