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Start-up behind home brewing machine MiniBrew can continue thanks to substantial debt write-off and drastic team reduction

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  • The Dutch maker of home brewing machines MiniBrew has been able to avert bankruptcy after months of negotiations.
  • According to Sprout, the startup has reached an agreement with the creditors, has drastically reduced the workforce and is receiving a new financial injection.
  • According to MiniBrew, home brewing has become more relevant than ever during the corona pandemic as fewer people are going to the pub.

The survival of MiniBrew is assured for the time being. The Dutch maker of home brewing machines had to request a postponement of payment at the end of June, which usually leads to bankruptcy.

But an agreement has now been reached with creditors so that the startup can continue, Sprout reports .

After lengthy negotiations, an agreement was reached on the restructuring of 8.5 million euros in debts and a significant reduction of the staff. The company will also receive a new financial injection from founder and managing director Bart van de Kooij.

“There was always a belief in a solution, but with the challenge that creditors would move along,” Van de Kooij told Sprout. “I had to fight hard for it, it was a very tough period. On the one hand you have to get out of a moratorium, but you cannot let the business get lost.

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The team with which MiniBrew continues, is drastically smaller than before the debt restructuring and reorganization. 21 people have left, leaving only a basic team of 4 FTE and a number of freelancers. So CEO Edwin Blom and co-founder Olivier van Oord left. Blom will remain involved as an advisor.

‘Home brewing more relevant than ever’

MiniBrew ran into serious financial trouble earlier this year as a major investor pulled out at the last minute due to the corona pandemic. As a result, a moratorium had to be applied for at the end of June.

Now that MiniBrew has managed to escape from this, the existing shareholders are also making a new investment in the company. “All current shareholders have put in money, which means we are able to pay off all creditors,” Van de Kooij told Sprout .

These are VOC Capital Partners, the investment fund of Pieter Schoen and Han de Groot, and Hoving & Partners, a Swiss investment fund behind several wealthy families. According to Van de Kooij, MiniBrew will be able to continue with the new capital “well into 2021”.

 The startup argues that home brewing has become more relevant than ever in the corona pandemic, as many people have become more careful about going to the pub and are therefore more often at home. According to MiniBrew, three times as much beer per user was brewed in the past quarter than in the previous quarter.

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