Ocho campaign reaches $2 million

Head of the "Own the Factory'' campaign Jim O'Malley celebrates a crowdfunding campaign.PHOTO:...
Head of the "Own the Factory'' campaign Jim O'Malley celebrates a crowdfunding campaign.PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
Otago Chocolate Company's Own The Factory crowdfunding campaign has reached the $2 million mark.

The crowdfunding campaign to buy and expand the operations of the Otago Chocolate Company (Ocho) reached its initial target of $1.8 million just after midday, less than two days after it launched and hit its final target of $2 million about 3pm.

More than 3200 people had bought shares in the company by just after 12.30pm.

The head of the campaign, Jim O'Malley, said earlier today it was exciting it had passed the initial target so quickly.

"We are really happy.

"We were fairly confident that they we would get strong public support, but it's really nice to see it actually happen."

It meant the company's plan was no longer "theoretical".

The $2 million target was set because it was the largest amount legally allowed to be crowdfunded in one year, Dr O'Malley said.

"That gives us a good start and is a substantial enough amount that we can consider it a real factory.''

He attributed its success to the work that went in to the proposal and Dunedin people's desire for chocolate production to continue in the city.

He confirmed the company had started early talks with Foodstuffs about supplying the company's products.

"We have actually really enjoyed our early contact with them.

"So we feel good about going forward with them."

Some of the money would be used to buy the company, but the majority would be spent on the expansion and upgrading of the manufacturing equipment.

The new factory would be located in the Steamer Basin.

Once it was up and running it would be about 10 times the size the business was now, he said.

As a gift, all shareholders received a life-time 20% discount on Ocho chocolate.

The crowdfunding page was unavailable for about 30 minutes just after 7pm last night due to the number of people trying to access it.

Comments

Best wishes to our own chocolate factory. I will love the high quality chocolate and the tourists will love the Willy Wonka factory down by the harbour in the exciting new complex. Bye Cadbury.

Fantastic work by all. It's great to be able to invest in a "new" business at an affordable rate for those of us beginner investors who don't have pots of cash but want to support a local business.