coffee
Independent sustainable coffee chain Black Sheep Coffee has raised £13m in funding from private investors to continue its global expansion.
Jane Imrie

Plastic-free coffee shop chain secures £13m boost for global expansion

Independent sustainable coffee chain Black Sheep Coffee has raised £13m in funding from private investors to continue its global expansion.

The firm, which doubled its revenue in the last 12 months, exceeded its £10m funding target as a result of unprecedented interest from several high-profile investors.

New investors include Spotify first investor Tellef Thorleifsson, president of Coca-Cola Canada and Coca-Cola Global board member Bill Shultz, Antler chairman for the board Tore Myrholt and former CircleK CEO Jacob Schram.

Founded in 2013 by Gabriel Shohet and Eirik Holth, Black Sheep Coffee has established shops across London and Manchester, as well as a coffee and cocktails concept in Manila, the Philippines.

The company has attracted interest for its sustainable business model and corporate social responsibility efforts, which have included being plastic-free from 2014 and working to help the homeless and advocate for fair trade and treatment for the farmers of its coffee beans.

Gabriel Shohet and Eirik Holth, co-founders and co-CEOs of Black Sheep Coffee, said: “We started Black Sheep Coffee to challenge big corporate brands on their sustainable approach, and rid the world of boring, average-tasting coffee.

“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.”

The funding will be used to facilitate the company’s expansion throughout Asia, the US, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the Middle East, with plans to grow its global network from 34 shops to 70.

In addition to boosting its global growth, the funding will be used to enhance the firm’s e-commerce platform.

Tellef Thorleifsson, first investor in Spotify and co-founder of Northzone Fund, commented: “I’m really looking forward to seeing how Black Sheep Coffee continues to grow and take the specialist coffee industry by storm.

“Black Sheep Coffee 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.”

Bill Schultz, President of Coca-Cola Canada and Board member of Coca-Cola Global, added: “Black Sheep Coffee is truly differentiated from the other premium coffee shops, with unique coffee drinks, food and atmosphere. The founders have built an amazing team, driven by their vision and united by the company values.”

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