MOTH Drinks - up 278%

"We make 5 star quality hotel bar cocktails that can be served as easily as a beer or a can of Coke". - Rob Wallis, Founder.

The company

MOTH - which stands for Mix of Total Happiness - produces canned cocktails using high quality spirits and mixers.

The company, formerly known as Buveur, was among those fortunate startups able to accelerate its business model during the COVID pandemic, which saw considerable changes in the way people socialised and an increase in demand for the cocktail bar experience in a variety of alternative settings. The new social hotspots: beaches, parks, barbecues and gardens, to name a few, all made the availability of popular cocktails in a form that was easy-to-transport and keep cool ideal.

Counting Selfridges, Harrods, The Ritz and Hoxton Hotels among its early clients, MOTH went on to launch in Waitrose nationwide in February 2021.

In May 2022, MOTH announced that it had launched nationwide into both Tesco and Sainsbury’s, going from 250 stores nationwide to over 1600.

Its product line covers the popular favourites: negroni, old fashioned, margarita and espresso martini, and uses primarily British ingredients.

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The numbers

Access invested in MOTH drinks in December 2020, co-investing alongside a super angel with a weighted IRR of 31%. This angel’s other investments include Rapha, Double Dutch,and Direct ID, to name a few.

Insights from the Founder, Rob Wallis:

SyndicateRoom: How are you feeling about the progress Moth has made so far, and what are your plans for the future?

Rob Wallis: We’ve been on a rollercoaster in the last 18 months but we’ve loved every minute of it, especially the challenges. Our plans this year are huge growth across, Grocery, D2C, the On-trade and maybe even in the skies above our heads. We’re working hard to lead premium RTD across the whole of the UK with plans to expand internationally not too far away.

SR: What have been some of the biggest challenges you’ve had to deal with?

RW: We’ve seen it all, or certainly enough for a few sleepless nights, can shortages, cardboard crises, transport crises, Brexit, Shipping, COVID, we’ve had a busy year but you learn most in these difficult moments. We’ve found that maintaining good relationships with our suppliers and clients and working hard to keep our forecasts as accurate as possible has seen us through to calmer seas.

SR: How important has VC funding been?

RW: So far our funding has been Angel based, but we anticipate and predict VC funding to be a vital part of our business as we scale.

SR: What’s the next key milestone you’d like to hit?

RW: The next milestone for us is hitting 2000 MOTH distribution points which we hope to do this year, as well as cracking our first international market.

SR: What are your main goals for the next 12 months?

RW: Our main goal is to grow and to learn for the next 12 months, we’re a young brand with huge ambitions. So we want to learn as much as we can about the MOTH drinker and to make it as easy as possible for them to make MOTH a part of their lives.

SR: If you could go back in time, is there anything you would do differently as a founder?

RW: I’d plan more for success, it sounds silly but if things go too well it can be scary so I’d go back and tell myself and the team to back ourselves and think even bigger, because if you get the product right there is no telling where you can go.

SR: What advice would you give to other founders in the early stages of starting a business?

RW: Step 1, make a great and differentiated product, step 2, hire the right team to make it happen and keep them close, step 3, find great funding partners who understand the plan and back you to the hilt to achieve it. Finally ask for help, we try our best never to be the smartest in the room so surround yourself with people who know more than you.

Find out more about MOTH Drinks on their website.

Find out more about our fund, Access EIS.

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