Wisconsinbly Holdings LLC, a new Milwaukee entity formed by Drink Wisconsinbly owner Ryan Walther, has raised $1.5 million to fund its formation and growth.
[caption id="attachment_167290" align="alignright" width="466"] Drink Wisconsinbly Pub & Grub,135 E. National Ave.[/caption]
Wisconsinbly Holdings was formed June 25, according to state records. The funding round was launched June 28, according to an SEC filing. Walther confirmed today the $1.5 million has now been raised.
Drink Wisconsinbly was created in 2014 as a lifestyle and apparel brand under Walther’s Minneapolis-based novelty products company, 30 Watt. Walther grew up in Waukesha and later lived in Madison, where he was a shareholder in comedy publication The Onion.
Now, Walther has spun the Wisconsinbly brand off into its own Milwaukee-based entity and has plans to further its growth through new ventures, for which the $1.5 million will be used.
“We’ve proved the concept and now it needs a separate entity and a separate team to run it out of Milwaukee,” he said. “People love this brand. There’s no other pride like Wisconsin and it resonates with people right away."
John Casanova has been hired as president of Wisconsinbly Holdings, and Rich Lorbach serves as creative director.
“We want to build out content. We want to become the mouthpiece of Wisconsin,” Walther said, describing one aspect of the growth plans as The Onion, Barstool Sports and Yelp all rolled into one. “Wisconsinbly Holdings will be the mouthpiece of Wisconsin for sports and just in our own tone. We really want to be that reference point for the ongoings in and around Wisconsin.”
There are other plans in the works, but Walther said he’s not yet ready to reveal them.
“I will say that we are unofficially the official lifestyle brand of Wisconsin and we plan to change that and make it the official lifestyle brand of Wisconsin,” he said. “You’ll just see our brand more prevalent around the great times in the great state of Wisconsin.”
Drink Wisconsinbly also operates a separate bar in Milwaukee’s Walker’s Point neighborhood called Drink Wisconsinbly Pub & Grub, which through DW Pub LLC licenses the Drink Wisconsinbly name, image and likeness. That entity has been tied up in a legal dispute over ownership and licensing fees. The case is still pending and is unrelated to Wisconsinbly Holdings’ plans, Walther said.