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Ex-Diageo director to launch whisky investment firm

A former Diageo commercial director is to launch a new platform designed to give investors the chance to profit from maturing whisky, having raised more than £1 million through crowdfunding.

Founded by Paul Tustain, the CEO and founder of BullionVault, and ex-Commercial Director of Diageo, Rupert Patrick, Whisky Investment Direct achieved its funding target of £1,002,972 via Angels Den, offering investors in the firm a 20% equity stake in the company.

Its aim is to provide a new online tool for the Scotch industry to trade and manage maturing inventory. It also plans to build a “sizeable inventory of young whisky” and launch a number of brands itself, with plans to resurrect 160-year-old Scotch brand, James Eadie.

“As more people invest into whisky, the brands can reduce the amount of working capital required to build stock without compromising future sales,” the company’s pitch on Angels Den reads. “Whisky Invest Direct itself will encourage producers to produce more whisky, which it will buy. It will acquire a substantial inventory of young whisky to underpin the development of its own brands, marketed and sold by a wholly owned subsidiary, James Eadie Ltd.”

“We will make maturing whisky investable by private individuals by introducing crowd funding of barrel whisky,” it added. “This will potentially unlock the upside for successful brand builders, including ourselves, as we will be resurrecting a 160-year-old Scotch brand, James Eadie.”

Whisky Invest Direct plans to generate the majority of its  income from “commissions and custody fees” on sales of whisky casks to crowd investors, while sales of its James Eadie Scotch Whisky brands will create secondary revenue.

The firm expects to formally launch its IPO (initial public offering), or be acquired outright by a larger company, in three to 10 years’ time.

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