Vivino Raises $155 Million in Series D Funding

Vivino, the world’s most downloaded mobile wine app and largest online wine marketplace closed (this week) a $155m Series D funding round led by Swedish based investment firm Kinnevik with Sprints Capital accompanying as a new investor. Additional participants include GP Bullhound and existing early-stage investor Creandum. This latest round brings Vivino’s total funds raised to date to $221 million and includes a mix of primary and secondary investment.

Vivino currently boasts a community of 50 million wine enthusiasts, who turn to the platform for its personalized recommendations, unbiased rating system, and expansive selection of wines from more than 700 marketplace partners worldwide. The new capital will enable Vivino to improve its core technology and artificial intelligence platform to create better and more personalized recommendations for Vivino users. 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.

“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.”

Alcohol e-commerce sales worldwide have grown immensely, and it is estimated that by 2024, they will exceed $40 billion. 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.”

Since its Series C raise in February 2018, led by Vivino’s current board chairman, Christophe Navarre and former CEO and Chairman of Moët Hennessy, Vivino has increased its user base from 29 million to 50 million and has significantly grown its marketplace business, which connects wineries and wine merchants to its community. 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.

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Meredith uses AI to sell wine

Meredith Corporation the US largest brand-powered food, lifestyle and entertainment media company, and Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, the third-largest premium wine company in the U.S., are exclusively partnering to position the remarkably broad and deep Ste. Michelle Wine Estates portfolio as the perfect wine pairings of choice through the use of Meredith’s smart technology capabilities, including proprietary first-party data, real-time consumer insights and predictive advertising capabilities. This alliance marks the first time a major advertiser has joined forces with Meredith to create and deliver a program rooted in artificial intelligence.

The program taps machine learning techniques to automatically classify recipes on Allrecipes, the world’s largest recipe site with a reach of 55 million consumers, and the diverse wines in the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates portfolio. An AI-based algorithm then combines the classifications to automatically generate specific wine pairings for each recipe. Suggested pairings appear adjacent to recipes and are automatically linked directly to local grocery stores or to e-commerce partners such as Instacart and Amazon Fresh for fulfillment using Meredith’s proprietary Shopper Marketing platform. Automated wine and side dish pairings can also appear in interactive meal plans which permit users to customize various elements of the meal based on their personal preferences.

Real-time insights generated from this program include user location store proximity, impressions by channel, trending products and trending recipes to help create usage occasions that reinforce the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates wines of choice, keeping the brand top of mind for all entertaining purposes. As part of the campaign, high-impact and targeted media also engages users with Ste. Michelle Wine Estates across Meredith platforms, including strategic video alignments, custom native content, high-impact media and editorial sponsorships.

“We are very excited to partner with Meredith to accelerate consumer engagement with our portfolio of world-class wines,” said Jim Mortensen, President and CEO of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. “This data-driven approach represents a smarter, more impactful, results-oriented form of advertising, allowing us to reach high-value consumers at the point at which their wine purchasing decisions are made.”

Corbin deRubertis, Head of Innovation for Meredith, commented, “Consumers are increasingly expecting media platforms to do more than just present search results. They’re gravitating to smart platforms that take into account all available data to make intelligent recommendations. Picking the perfect wine to pair with a new dish is exactly the type of challenge we can solve at scale, and we’ve combined our deep, first-party insights, including our unparalleled context taxonomies, with new machine learning and AI techniques to deliver a next-generation consumer experience that also drives brand equity and product purchase for our client.”

In addition to investing with Allrecipes, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates will leverage Meredith’s scale by extending its exclusive partnership across the company’s O&O assets. Meredith owns the largest premium content digital network for American consumers, reaching 175MM engaged consumers across its platforms.