Fintech platform Ferovinum has announced its launch into the Scotch whisky industry, backed by institutional capital of £100 million.
The fintech business behind Ferovinum — a wine and spirits inventory funding platform — wants to transform the way distillers, bottlers and brand owners fund their growth.
Ferovinum founders Mitchel Fowler and Daniel Gibney have appointed Scottish drinks and hospitality veteran Gregor Mathieson to lead their Scotch whisky operation.
The company said Mathieson is confident of Ferovinum’s funding model — buying stock to release cash into businesses with a long maturation process, then selling it back to meet sales once ready for release.
Mathieson said: “Ferovinum is already bringing some real financial muscle to the burgeoning UK wine industry with a model that is now absolutely right for Scotch whisky businesses, many of which are facing the same challenges and opportunities.
“This is about democratising access to finance with levels of growth funding that have traditionally been out of reach for most companies, whether they’re heritage brands or one of the exciting new entrants to Scotland’s whisky market.
“Having founded and managed whisky businesses over the past few decades myself, I immediately understood the benefits that the Ferovinum platform brings.
“Companies typically have a lot of stock, but for most, it sits in warehouses as a completely dormant and untapped asset.
“Releasing its value using bank facilities is often a prohibitively lengthy and cumbersome process, which is problematic at a time when the need for agility and acting quickly to seize opportunities has never been greater.
“Ferovinum overcomes these barriers.
“Once companies are up and running on our platform, they’re in full control of the funding process.
“They can log in and upload stock to release cash within a matter of days, to expedite funding for any project and buy it back whenever they need it, with no additional fees or penalties.
“The platform also brings business efficiencies, supporting logistics, stock management, supply chain automation and procurement, helping users protect their profits.
“And because The Ferovinum team is commercially neutral, we’re on side with expert advice at all times, always working in the best interests of our clients to help them realise their goals and ambitions.”
After a successful pilot with independent bottler Adelphi and The Glenturret, Scotland’s oldest working distillery, Mathieson believes a flexible alternative to traditional bank finance is long overdue.
Adelphi Managing Director Alex Bruce said: “Adelphi’s concept of independent bottling has always been to select the finest single casks just in time to bottle and distribute to discerning customers in the UK and overseas.
“With the ever-increasing demand for single malt, third party supplies have been dwindling and costs rising, so it is essential that we can jump on new parcels without delay.
“The Ferovinum financing system is ideally suited to fund these purchases without affecting the cash flow of the rest of the business, allowing us to be ready to move without delay.”