Vivino, an online wine marketplace founded in Denmark, has recently secured a huge $155 million (approx £114 million) funding in Series D round. The investment was led by Sweden-based investment firm Kinnevik with Sprints Capital accompanying as a new investor.
Other investors including GP BullHound and existing early-stage investor Creandum also participated in the round. This brings the total funding amount to $221 million (approx £162 million).
How will the funding be used?
The funding will enable the company to improve its core technology and artificial intelligence platform to create better and more personalised recommendations for Vivino users.
“This is a testament to the remarkable work that our teams around the globe have done to build an extraordinary business,” said Heini Zachariassen, Vivino’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer. “This round has raised important capital for our rapidly growing company and drawn some exceptional new leaders to our board. The funding will enable us to continue to build on our core strengths, expand industry partnerships drawing more merchants and wineries to our marketplace, and support our continued global growth.”
The company will also deepen its focus on select markets with the greatest potential for growth, including the US, Germany, the UK, Italy, Japan, and Portugal.
Focusing the UK market
In an exclusive interview with UKTN, Vivino founder and CEO, Heini Zachariassen, says, “This new round of investment enables us to go deeper into the UK market than ever before. We’ve been relatively modest with previous raises but we’re a global business that sells wine in 17 countries and with consumer behaviour, particularly in the UK, shifting significantly towards buying wine online, now is the time to invest where demand dictates it. With 2.4 million users in the UK and revenues doubling over the past year, we’ve reached a critical mass of demand which is visible through the in-app behavior of our users.
Further when asked to elaborate on growth investment, he says, “We’ve spent very little on marketing to date so we’ll begin to increase that to drive further organic growth, but a big focus for us will be to continue converting users into customers and building out our marketplace of independent UK wine merchants, developing more relationships and providing an e-commerce platform that enables them to reach more customers. We don’t own any of the wines we sell through our marketplace but we strive to maintain high standards when it comes to these partners since the experience a user has with them is largely a reflection on us because the app provides the means for purchase.”
Offers unique wine shopping experience
Founded by Heini Zachariassen, and Theis Sondergaard in 2010, Vivino is one of the biggest online wine marketplace and claims to be the most downloaded wine app. The company’s unique wine shopping experience uses community data to suggest personalised wine recommendations, make wine discovery, and purchase fun, accessible, and effortless for wine drinkers of every level of expertise.
Since its Series C raise in February 2018, the company has increased its user base from 29 million to 50 million. The company has posted a 100% annual growth rate for the last seven years and a 103% increase in year-over-year sales in 2020. In the UK alone, the company has 2.4 million users and posted growth of 114% YoY in 2020
Zachariassen credits the company’s growth to this continued shift in consumer behavior. “Our user retention rates are high, and we’re seeing a steady conversion of app users to wine buyers. That’s a good move in the right direction. By creating more value for our users, we also create more value for the company and industry at large.”
Vivino currently boasts a community of 50 million wine enthusiasts with an expansive selection of wines from more than 700 marketplace partners worldwide.