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Curious Wines Expands To Dublin

Cork's Curious Wines has the capital in its sights with a new retail and distribution centre in Naas.

The company was founded by brothers Mike Kane and Matt Kane in 2008 and had turnover of €1.1m last year. The Kanes (pictured) operate a website and retail arm in Cork and two years ago they started distributing to the on-trade too.

To part finance the 6,000 sq ft Naas facility, Curious Wines turned to the micro-lenders on Linked Finance, and got their E30,000. “Instead of jumping through hoops by having to educate, prod and cajole a bank manager, we went to the people who understand and believe in our business: our customers, our friends,” says Mike.

The company banks with Bank of Ireland, and a startup loan was due to be repaid by the start of 2015. In fairness to the bank, it approved a refinancing proposal which has allowed Curious Wines to fit-out the new warehouse and install a new IT and EPOS system.

The Linked Finance borrowing is being used solely to buy stock. Wine importers have to pay most of the excise duties upfront, which is a drain on cashflow. One of the rationales behind the Naas warehouse is to bring in wines at the lowest possible landed cost, thus increasing competitiveness and protecting operating margins.

Curious Wines booked a net profit of €30,000 in 2013, and creditors were owed €369,000 at year-end. A nice incentive for Linked Finance lenders was a 10% discount on Curious Wine purchases for lenders offering €500 at 6.5% or lower. (August 2014)

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