A Thundafund project to reach R750 000 for a home-grown gin brand, Sugarbird Fynbos Gin, shattered historical crowdfunding records in South Africa after their campaign raised R1.09m.

In partnership with KOI Strategy, Yuppiechef and Thundafund, Sugarbird is a craft gin with authentic and deep-rooted ties to South Africa and it simultaneously helps women entrepreneurs reach their dreams through the KOI Strategy workshops.

After every 1 000 bottles bought, their campaign donates towards grants and bursaries of entrepreneurs, mostly women from previously disadvantaged areas.

The co-founders of Sugarbird Fynbos Gin, Rob Heyns and Nzeka Biyela, said they were delighted with the support and response. 

They are ready for retail stores across the country, and their next step is to expand to China and the UK.

Biyela said: “I am beyond thrilled that we have gone over and above our dream goal. The response and support from our backers has been absolutely incredible and we cannot thank them enough.”

Heyns said: “I am overwhelmed and amazed at the support from backers and fans and impressed by the results of the efforts of the extended team. People from all over added to our momentum, it truly was a crowd effort.”

Founder of KOI Strategy, Neil Hinrichsen, vouched for the Sugarbird Fynbos Gin and their initiative to empower (women) entrepreneurs, he said it would change the lives of many people from previously disadvantaged backgrounds.

Hinrichsen said: “I have known Rob for a very long time, he is an awesome entrepreneur. I am certain with the Sugarbird and KOI Strategy partnership, he has a bigger vision for local entrepreneurs.