HFPX Participações has pegged another startup for investment: Beercrew.
Launched in 2012, Beercrew is a network for beer aficionados to discover and try high-quality products from top breweries that are often hard to find in Brazil. It also invites the members of its community to share stories, tips for pairing and tasting, and ways to make the beer-drinking experience more enjoyable. Beercrew is located in Joinville, a Brazilian “center” of beer.
The man behind the beer plan is software engineer Evandro Dutra, who first had the idea for the startup in July of last year. Frustrated with the limited availability of quality beers and top labels for tasting in Brazil, he and co-founders Rafael Couto and Gustavo Cardoso began to study ways to bring in new labels from around Brazil and abroad. They worked with expert brewers to define a way to offer customers a varied set of quality options.
Thus, Beercrew’s club model was born. Customers receive a kit of four different beers each month, delivered straight to their homes, and become part of the Beercrew online community to share, learn and gather information. “Our focus is not only the signature of beers, but also the process of tasting and appreciation. Along with this, our goal is to promote beer culture and present better ways of tasting beers,” said Dutra.
Since its launch, the Beercrew community has been growing steadily. However, the road hasn’t been easy. “The hardest part, without a doubt, is the issue of transporting our products to deliver to the customer. We have to depend on outsiders deliveries, and transportation costs in Brazil are very high. This makes things difficult in terms of the price we offer to the customer. Our main goal now is to reduce the cost of transportation,” Dutra explained. “Nothing has been easy, but challenges are always biggest at the beginning of a business. With time, our processes will be adjusted.”
Adjustments or not, Beercrew won’t be waiting around for expansion. During the second semester of this year, it will roll out e-commerce and social gaming ventures as well.
Its e-commerce platform will feature specialty beers and exclusive labels imported from countries around the world. It will be accessible via the web and mobile.
The social game, on the other hand, will seek to increase appreciation for specialty beers, spread brewing knowledge and culture, and reward Beercrew’s most active members. Members participate to earn points that can be redeemed for exclusive products and prizes. The game will be available for both Android and iOS, and its first version will be released at the Brazilian Beer Festival in Blumenau from the 20th to the 23rd of March.
“Our intention in entering the e-commerce is to offer to our customers a wider range of differentiated products that do not rely solely on the monthly subscription. We intend to expand the brewery culture in Brazil and the appreciation of different specialty labels,” said Dutra. “With the game, we want to give the users the opportunity to exchange experiences with different beers and reward them for achieving goals, such as finding a rare beer or drinking a beer in an unusual place.”
HFPX’s backing will certainly play an important role in helping the Beercrew team achieve its long list of goals. Not only will Beercrew take advantage of the investment, but also the organization’s know-how and extensive business network.
For HFPX, the decision to work with Beercrew is also an exciting prospect. “Subscription-based e-commerce is a trend in the most sophisticated markets in the world. The model presented by Beercrew builds on a national passion, beer, and gives consumers an easy, worry-free way to subscribe and receive their kits at home. They know the stories of the beers they’re going to receive, enjoy the service’s gamification element, and still have everything integrated with social media,” remarked HFPX CEO Hugo Cordeiro.
Beercrew joins several other startups in HFPX’s growing strategic participation portfolio. Since its 2012 launch, HFPX has invested in wedding planning platform MeCasar, online delivery service Foome, e-procurement system Área Central, gift card enterprise Giver, and now, Beercrew.