New funding for Perth online whisky house
Firm runs auction sales of rare and valuable whiskies over the internet
An ambitious Perth-based online whisky auction house is scaling up after securing new funding support.
Founded in 2013 by Iain McClune, Whisky Auctioneer has recently acquire date nancy for larger warehousing facilities for its valuable inventory of top-class whiskies.
The company has now secured a £145,000 commercial mortgage and ongoing support from Barclays which will allow it to acquire the new space outright within 12 months of taking on the tenancy.
The firm – which has grown to a workforce of 16 – initially focused on domestic Scottish whiskies but it has since diversified to reflect buyer demand and has held auctions of Irish, American and Japanese whiskies.
Its latest auction in June saw tens of thousands of pounds worth of whisky offered for sale, with a limited edition 1964 Black Bowmore in a presentation box achieving £14,200 in the bidding.
In May, a case of vintage Macallan, distilled in 1938 and bottled by Gordon and Macphail in the late 1970s, realised £40,600, while a 1960 Karuizawa whisky sold at another auction for more than £100,000.
Mr McClune – who started out in a two-room basement office – hopes to continue growing the whisky business while also looking at other aspects of the drinks industry.
He approached Barclays relationship manager David Loughlin to help support his growth plans with the assistance of Bruce Renfrew from Thorntons Solicitors.
“We found Barclays to be extremely helpful and supportive when we were first setting up the business,” Mr McClune said.
“Being assigned a relationship manager as a single point of contact to help with any queries cemented our relationship and I am looking forward to seeing how we can progress the business even further together.
“Whisky Auctioneer aims to make the buying and selling process as easy as possible.
“Our ambition is to become the go-to resource for whisky fans.”
The business is one of a number that has benefited from Barclays’ £500 million Scottish SME (small and medium enterprise) fund, which deals with companies with turnover up to £25m.
Stuart Brown, head of SME Scotland at Barclays, said the bank was delighted to continue to support Whisky Auctioneer in its growth journey.
“Whisky Auctioneer is a great example of how we can support companies through the scale-up stage.
“We were able to offer them a local relationship team who understood the business and helped make the most of the opportunities available in the marketplace.
“Iain is an entrepreneur who is passionate about every aspect of his business and this funding will provide a stable base for future growth, both in terms of customers and staff.”
Whisky Auctioneer founder Iain McClune.