Hawke’s Brewing and Bare Funerals toast $1 million media-for-equity deals

- May 22, 2024 2 MIN READ
Bob Hawke.
One for the country: Hawke's Brewing cofounders Nathan Lennon and David Gibson share a tinnie with famed lover of amber ales, the late Bob Hawke.
A media-for-equity fund involving some of the industry’s biggest names, including News Corp, Nova and Foxtel, has backed a Sydney mircobrewery and funeral startup in an advertising deals worth around $1 million each. 

The Scaleup Mediafund has backed Hawke’s Brewing and Bare Funeral Group from its third fund, worth $15 million. The new fund expands the reach of the marketing deals with outdoor advertising company oOh!media, which has 35,000+ sites, signing on as investor.

Hawke’s Brewing, in Sydney’s inner west in Marrickville, in the electorate of current prime minister Anthony Albanese, was founded in April 2017 by Nathan Lennon and David Gibson. The late former PM Bob Hawke, known for a love of beer, although he abstained during his time in office, agreed to lending his name and face to the brand, with the royalties from its use going to Landcare Australia.

Western Australian-based Bare, which raised $10 million in a Series A in mid-2022 and counts OIF, Athletic Ventures, Who Gives A Crap founder Simon Griffiths and former basketballer Andrew Bogut among its backers offers low-cost funerals. Friends Cale Donovan and Sam McConkey cofounded of Bare in 2019.

Scaleup Mediafund has backed 17 startups with $25 million in advertising since its launch in 2017, with five hitting an acquisition or IPO. They include Mable, Hey You, PointsBet, Mosh and Mad Paws.

It’s also struck a deal with personalised vitamins supplier Vitable.

The fund works directly with founders to provide discounted advertising and marketing inventory with Australia’s largest publishers and broadcasters to help build their brands, in exchange for equity. The fund’s investors have committed more than $45 million in advertising and marketing inventory.

Scaleup Mediafund investment principal Michael Lamont

Scaleup investment principal Michael Lamont said they offer a straightforward and unique deal structure for the founders of consumer-facing brands to access affordable high-impact marketing.

“We have embraced the challenge that new brands face – how to best build their presence, attract consumers and scale effectively. Scaleup is the only Australian fund solely dedicated to addressing this issue, which offers substantial opportunity for startups to accelerate growth,” he said.

“With our third funding round in place, we’re delighted to have completed our first two investments and now invite the next wave of startups who are interested in learning about media-for-equity and how it can support their growth plans.”

The focus is on consumer-facing startups to accelerate their growth. Lamont sees Scaleup as providing an important missing element to venture funding outside the traditional startup model.

“Given the preference of venture capital markets for investments in technology and enterprise software, we offer unparalleled access to investment capital and advertising knowhow for consumer brand startups which, we believe, are underserved by traditional venture capital – we encourage businesses focused on driving marketing-based growth to reach out and see how they can benefit from the reach, data and insights that our network of industry professionals provides,” he said.

Hawkes Brewing’s CEO Glen Brasington said they were impressed by Scaleup “leaning in to help drive our business forward” following the circa $1m deal.

“Right from the start, they really got what we’re about and what will make a difference,” he said.

“Scaleups’ premium inventory and the team’s commitment have seriously boosted our progress.”

Interested startups can get more details at scaleupmediafund.com