It's National Wine Day, which means it's the one day a year I get a free pass to write about wine—as it pertains to venture capital, of course.
It's no secret that many of us enjoy a good glass of red—or rosé, if that's more your thing. As it turns out, VCs are equally enamored with vino and have a portfolio of investments in wine startups to prove it.
Blue Apron and HelloFresh, a pair of formerly VC-backed food delivery companies, have both meandered into the wine market since their foundings. HelloFresh began offering wine plans in 2017 and now delivers six bottles of wine to subscribers' doorstep each month. Blue Apron rolled out wine options in 2015.
And there's a whole range of VC-backed startups stepping into the wine marketplace, including those in the hardware, software, ecommerce and on-demand delivery spaces. It's a lucrative market after all. According to Wine Access, Gen Xers spend $5,717 on fine wine annually, baby boomers shed $4,900 and millennials let go of $4,163.
Coravin is among the fleet of wine startups. It offers wine accessories, like a bottle opener and an aerator, and has raised around $62 million to date from Battery Ventures, Windham Venture Partners and others. Vivino, Winestyr, Uvinum and Provi all provide online marketplaces for purchasing alcoholic beverages. Vivino has pulled in $57.5 million to date.
Subscription wine service L18 Holdings was valued at $131 million in 2011. Fellow VC-backed subscription-based competitors Drizly, Winc, Penrose Hill and Minibar have all raised rounds since the start of 2016. Most recently, Penrose Hill, which works specifically with independent wineries, brought in about $12 million at the beginning of the year. It's backed by Greycroft and Tribeca Venture Partners, among others.
Another wine company, Drync, targets alcohol retailers rather than consumers. Its mobile service integrates with stores' point-of sale systems to offer real-time inventory updates. The startup has raised $4.35 million to date.
And if you don't like wine, there are plenty of companies catering to your drink preferences. Flaviar, for example, offers a database of some 15,000 spirits. It sends curated 1.5-ounce samples of craft whiskey in themed boxes, encouraging customers to purchase full bottles of their favorites.
There's more where that came from. PitchBook subscribers can view a list of select wine-related startups.
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