Monday 17 June 2019 2:03 pm

Caffeine buzz: Black Sheep coffee chain secures £13m funding for overseas plan

Independent coffee shop chain Black Sheep has secured a £13m funding injection as it sets its sights on global expansion.

The London-based barista group is looking to ramp up its footprint from 34 sites to 70 by the end of this year, as it eyes overseas growth in the US, Europe, UAE and Asia.

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Black Sheep, which says its aim is “to challenge the current establishments with its approach to the coffee industry,” said the investment will also go towards its newly-launched online platform.

Among the private investors involved in the funding are Tellef Thorleifsson, the first investor in Spotify, and Bill Shultz, president of Coca-Cola Canada and a board member at Coca-Cola Global.

Founded in 2013 by former university flatmates who quit their jobs in private equity to start the business, the firm has since enjoyed rising revenue and opened a swathe of outlets in the capital.

The brand, which has now raised total funding of roughly £25m since its inception, reported 25 per cent like-for-like sales growth in both the final quarter of 2018 and the first quarter of 2019.

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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. We have made a conscious effort to stay clear of institutional investors in order to keep our independence and long-term vision for the brand.”

Tellef Thorleifsson, first investor in Spotify and a co-founder of Northzone Fund, added: “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.”