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Gateway steers firm's ambitions

Seed Haus backs Drinkly’s growth plan

John Robertson: huge shift to mobile commerce


An Edinburgh drinks delivery business which has seen sales increase 30% month-on-month since launching last November has secured investment to help it expand across the UK.

Drinkly.co.uk received £30,000 from Seed Haus, a business accelerator financed by a number of Scottish entrepreneurs such as Brewdog’s James Watt and the games developer Chris van der Kuyl.

The funding will help refine Drinkly’s offering in the capital before rolling out the concept to an estimated 15 locations by the end of next year. 

The company has created partnership deals with Asahi UK, Pickering’s Gin, and Innis & Gunn which will help it hit achieve £100,00 turnover by next April. 

Owner John Robertson, a former sales executive with Innis & Gunn, Whyte & Mackay and Kingfisher Beer, secured the funding after completing Business Gateway Edinburgh’s Gateway to Investment (GTI) programme.

The programme aims to provide business owners with the tools, information and confidence needed to secure investment. 

Mr Robertson said: “There has been a huge shift towards mobile commerce with Deliveroo and Uber leading the way and investors are starting to recognise the potential of businesses like mine.

“My adviser helped me secure funding, access expert technical and intellectual property advice and secure a place on the GTI programme.

“The four day course helped me understand the language of investors, and it was through it that I met another entrepreneur who connected me with Seed Haus. Without Business Gateway’s support I wouldn’t be investor ready nor would the business be in the position that it is now.

John Hill, Adviser, Business Gateway, said: “With our help, John has been able to take his business to the next level by protecting his brand and using our connections to secure a number of grants from Scottish Enterprise.

“Because his business has the potential to expand quickly he has also benefitted from our GTI programme that ultimately helped him secure his first major investment.” 

Having graduated with a mathematics degree, John choose a career in the drinks industry after securing a job with a wholesale distributor. This led to sales positions within a number of global brands.

He launched a consultancy business in 2015, entered Entrepreneurial Spark’s hub in Edinburgh and secured a place on The Saltire Fellowship Programme. 

He said: “The Saltire Fellowship opened my eyes to the public’s growing demand for businesses that add value and convenience to their lives.

“While on the course I came across an online liquor store that was successful across America and I saw an opportunity to create my own platform and bring a similar concept to our shores.

“The drinks industry is only now beginning to recognise the power of e-commerce.” 

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