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Uncle Nearest Officially Surpasses $1B Valuation, According To Reports, And Becomes Fastest-Growing American Whiskey Brand

Uncle Nearest is making history as the fastest-growing Ameri­can whiskey brand ever, according to Forbes.

As AFROTECH™ previously told you, Fawn Weaver serves as founder and CEO and established the company to honor “Nearest” Green, a formerly enslaved man who taught Jack Daniel how to make whiskey.

The company has since received significant backing, even in the midst of Weaver’s clear stance that she has no intention of selling the business, which has grown to include a 458-acre distillery with the world’s longest bar (518 feet). Products are now featured in over 30,000 stores, bars, hotels, and restaurants in 12 countries.

By November 2023, Weaver had raised $225 million in individual support. Per Forbes, the business is backed by 163 individual investors, providing an average check of $500,000 a person.

“The most difficult thing in starting any business. It’s always the capital,” Weaver told AFROTECH™. “Nobody really wants to invest until you’re already successful, but you can’t get successful without the investment.”

She continued, “So, creating a way for me to raise money that didn’t include VC or PE or institutional lending and chasing after them, and having them meet to produce all these documents that most companies don’t even have till they’re 5, 6 years old. I’m like, ‘Look, I’m not gonna do this. I’m gonna find enough individuals of high net worth that are accredited investors that are willing to back my vision, that are willing to believe in me, but will stay out of my way. They will help me, but they will not hinder me.’ And I raised over $225 million with individuals only.”

Individual investors do not maintain more than a 2.3% stake in the company, and employees own less than 3%. This works in Weaver’s favor as she maintains control of the business with a 40% stake and 80% of the voting rights alongside her husband, Keith.

“Fawn consistently demonstrates exceptional leadership, long-term vision and resilience, which are all critical traits for a successful founder,” billionaire Byron Trott, who invested personally, told Forbes.

Additionally, Uncle Nearest’s rise over the years is evident in its logistics, with Forbes estimating its valuation at $1.1 billion, making it the fastest-growing whiskey brand in American history. What’s more, the company is on track to reach $100 million in revenue for 2024 and has tripled its sales since 2021.

Weaver’s hope for the business is not rooted in personal gains. In fact, she does not believe she will directly profit from the business but understands her business will be profitable. Her long-term vision is for the company to reach a valuation of $50 billion and benefit Nearest Green’s descendants.

“I’m going to build it large as h-ll. When I pass it on, I don’t want it to be a $10 billion company. I want it to be a $50 billion company,” Weaver mentioned to Forbes. “I am never going to profit on Uncle Nearest. I’ve known it from day one. I’m raising up their family.”



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