The latest funding round was led by SCP Neptune International, the investment arm of former Moet Hennessy CEO and Chairman of VinExpo Christophe Navarre. This comes about two years after Vivino’s series B funding round which raised $25 million, also led by SCP Neptune International. Put ’em together and that puts Vivino’s total aggregated funding at $56.3 million.
Vivino plans to use the new investment capital to expand its wine marketplace and add key team members. They’re aiming to reach $1 billion in wine sales by 2020 and have plans to expand into Hong Kong
The Denmark-based company launched in 2010 with the goal of easing consumer’s wine purchasing experiences. After downloading the app, users can take a photo of their wine label and proprietary image recognition technology will promptly deliver pricing, ratings, and provide them with an option to purchase. And, with an annual subscription of $47, users can get their curated wine selections delivered to their door at no added cost.
According to Vivino, since its series B funding round closed, their user base has skyrocketed from 13 million to almost 29 million. They haven’t cornered the wine delivery market yet, though: companies like Winc, Blue Apron Wine, and retail behemoth Amazon also offer vino delivery.
Perhaps the most interesting part of this announcement is what it could mean for the specialty foods purchasing experience in general. Vivino brands themselves as “an online wine community, database and mobile application” aimed at easing the user’s wine-buying experience. Which, let’s face it, can be pretty confusing and inconvenient: Do you prefer Bordeaux or Zinfandel? What’s a good bottle to go with fish? And once you’ve found a grape you want to try, you’ve got to track it down and find the best price. (Delectable is an app that offers wine label scanning, recommendations, and pairings, but you have to download a companion app for delivery.)
We’ve already written about direct-to-consumer wine delivery and Ai-powered sommeliers, but the interesting thing about Vivino’s is its abililty to combine these into one neat app. They provide a trusted review platform, suggesting new bottles for their users, then deliver them to their door, creating a seamless purchasing experience across multiple channels. Plus it would really come in handy for those times your party ran out of rosé but you don’t want to go to the store to get more.
Vivino’s move to combine mobile commerce and an online marketplace with their personalized wine recommendation system is an exciting example of vertical integration in the grocery-delivery sphere. It’s a model that I could see expanding into other specialty consumable goods, such as artisan coffee or even marijuana; areas where delivery apps may already exist but not with such a heavy emphasis on customer guidance and handholding.
I could also envision a future where Vivino (or similar apps) link up with food delivery services like UberEats, delivering you a bottle of wine paired perfectly with your tofu pad thai. I’d be hyped to try this combo, just as long as it doesn’t involve my wine nemesis: Pinot Noir.