20/06/2019 - 12:46

Hot prospects for Bunsters

20/06/2019 - 12:46

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One of Perth’s sauciest companies is seeking a $5 million valuation with a hand from the Perth Angels.

Renae Bunster (above) says Rafael Kimberley-Bowen has already had a big impact on her company. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

One of Perth’s sauciest companies is seeking a $5 million valuation with a hand from the Perth Angels.

When Business News last spoke to Renae Bunster, in 2017, her hot sauce company had just found its way onto the shelves of more than 200 independent retailers across Australia.

Two years later, Ms Bunster’s products regularly top Amazon’s list of bestselling hot sauces, while her hottest, most notorious sauce has become an international sensation thanks to its appearance on US web series Hot Ones.

Now, the future is looking fierier than ever for this Perth-based startup.

With her sights now set on a $5 million valuation, Ms Bunster has enlisted the help of Perth Angels for an equity crowdfunding round.

“We’ve come from an eight litre pot in my kitchen just cooking for my mates, to selling to hundreds of thousands of customers in the US,” Ms Bunster said.

“This funding round is so important because we are at a point where we have so many fans overseas and we’re running out of sauce.

“We’ve been running off of our own savings up to now, so this is the perfect time to take on funding.”

Perth-based investment group Perth Angels provides a forum for small businesses and entrepreneurs to pitch ideas, with those successful receiving mentorship and funding.

Ms Bunster said that, when she pitched her company to the group, the experience was similar to being on an episode of Shark Tank.

“The Perth Angels found out we were looking to take on investors and rushed us in to pitch,” she said.

“Other companies get months to prepare; we had one day.”

Ms Bunster said there had been a significant level of interest from investors, after which Rafael Kimberly-Bowen came aboard as an investor.

“The Bunsters deal is exactly the type of investment opportunity we look for at Perth Angels,” Mr Kimberly-Bowen said.

“I was impressed by how they have managed to already grow this venture into an internationally successful business turning over more than $1 million a year.

“It’s a very lean operation with minimal staff but achieving great things.”

Ms Bunster said Mr Kimberly-Bowen had played a huge role since the pitch to the Perth Angels.

“We didn’t know all these things about raising money and he was instrumental to opening the door for us to start selling shares,” she said

Ms Bunster said the work Perth Angels had already done for her company had delivered a huge impact.

Helping establish an investor trust, she said, increased the amount of investors Bunsters could take on.

In addition, while initially hoping to raise $2 million, Ms Bunster said the Perth Angels had advised her to halve the pricing so she could offer shares now at a lower buy-in price.

“We wanted to secure funding, but before now, we had to sell shares at $35,000,” she said.

“Now, for a minimum buy-in of $10,000, investors can own 0.25 per cent of the company.”

Having already secured $300,000, Ms Bunster said she was well on her way to hitting her target of $1 million in funding, with shares available from June 17.

“This is the first time we have sold shares in the company,” she said.

“Once we reach our $1 million target, we’ll be looking for bigger partners to invest.

“This might be the only chance for members of the public to buy in.”

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