Another brewery is raising money by crowd funding and once again I'm troubled. The first time I saw this was when a prominent craft brewery offered a small share of the company at a very high price, shortly after selling a chunk of shares to another business at a much lower price. The shares were all snapped up by dedicated fans of the brewery, and share ownership did give discounts on purchases so it could be thought of as expensive fan club membership.
The latest brewery crowd funding share offer values the company at over eight times its turnover. Now, my interest in economics seldom goes beyond "it's high time we abolished money" but I can't help but think that this doesn't look like a great investment. Fan club type benefits are again offered to shareholders, this time on a sliding scale.
It's the general unsoundness of these monetary investments that troubles me. Is getting your fans to pay a premium for token share holdings in your brewery a decent way to run a business? I suppose it does make your customers more involved with the company, even if it's only akin to having a fan club. Or is it simply cynically milking your most dedicated customers for all their worth?