If there was any doubt venues and breweries in New South Wales and Victoria are set to bounce back from lockdowns – with the rest of Australia set for a big summer of drinking draught – Konvoy Group might hold the answers.
The two-year-old company which specialises in moving kegs of beer across the country is bracing for its biggest month to date this month, while managing director, Adam Trippe-Smith (pictured above left and who you can read more about here) says the last few weeks of October have been impressive too, even despite the challenges of lockdowns.
“Last month,” Adam says, “even though Sydney was only open for two weeks and Melbourne for basically six days, we had our second best month ever”
They've got much bigger aims, however, today announcing they've raised $30 million to fund expansion in Australia, New Zealand and further afield. Adam says it’s a substantial raise for them, up from around $8 million last time around, which he says is an endorsement of their team and plans for the future.
“It gives us the horsepower to take it to the next level,” he says.
A key part of their plan will see them take their keg-tracking business decision, Katch, to the Northern Hemisphere next year, with plans to launch it at the US Craft Brewers Conference in May and the Drinktec’s Trade Fair in Munich in September. The Katch tracking device is an Internet of Things (IoT) technology that allows for continual tracking of keg locations and temperatures, which can then be fed into a system Konvoy and breweries use to lose fewer kegs and better know where and how they're are moving.
With such large numbers of brewing companies in America, Canada, the UK and Europe, they believe Katch – which launched locally less than a year ago – offers a way they can add value to breweries, whether they own their kegs or not.
“We do see opportunities for rentals but there’s always going to be – given the local nature of breweries there – they’ll want to continue owning their kegs,” Adam says. “A lot of those can run their own kegs as well and track them and not lose them.”
And, while it might all sound like a grand plan for a fledgling antipodean business, more lies ahead with a potential initial public offering (IPO) on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) over the next couple of years.