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“Netflix for wine” Vivino raises $155m

Vivino is the latest company to benefit from the online food and beverage boom

By Freya Pratty

Vivino the world’s largest ecommerce platform for wine has raised $155m in new funding, becoming the latest company to benefit from the online food and beverage boom.

The company, founded in Denmark but now headquartered in the US, gives customers Netflix-like suggestions for different wines to try when they log into the app, based on their past purchases. 

Vivino’s latest round was led by Swedish investment firm Kinnevik and brings its total funds raised so far to $221m.

Vivino has seen huge growth in the past year with a 103% increase, year over year, in wine sales between 2019 and 2020. Online sales currently account for 3% of the $380bn global wine industry, but Vivino is confident the proportion will continue to grow.

It’s not just wine — the whole online food and drinks market has been buzzing since the pandemic began. In 2019, online groceries accounted for 2.5% of the market, but that increased nearly 60% in 2020, to account for 4% of all sales, and projections suggest it will double again in the next five years.

The trend’s been marked by a host of recent acquisitions too, as big industry players look to expand their offerings. 

Earlier this week, Uber announced it has bought online alcohol-delivery service Drizly for $1.1bn, which it’ll integrate within its UberEats platform. In November last year, Dr Oetker bought German startup Flaschenpost, another online beverage delivery service, for €1bn.

For Vivino, the funding will help it expand in its key markets — Germany, Italy, the UK, Portugal, as well as the US.

“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,” says Heini Zachariassen, founder and CEO.

The company will also use the funds to expand the artificial intelligence aspect of its platform, which offers personalised wine recommendations for users, instead of general wine ratings — in a vein to how streaming services recommend video content.

 

Freya Pratty is Sifted’s news reporter. She tweets from @FPratty

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