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Some grapes shrivel into golden raisins. Others, apparently, turn into gold.

Vivino, the digital sommelier app that suggests and sells wines, announced a mammoth $155 million Series D funding round yesterday. The company is now valued at between $600 and $800 million.

That’s a lot of grape stomping.

Sauvignon Blanc Cheque
Vivino's value proposition is simple, it promises to help you "buy the right wine."

And the demand is there. Vivino's user base has grown from 29 million in 2018 to 50 million today. Sales on the Vivino marketplace hit $265 million in 2020, more than double the year before.

The new cash boost will allow the company to open up shop in Mexico, Japan, Portugal and Poland, and increase staff by at least 50%.

  • The company will also use the new cash to develop a personalization feature that its CEO says is like a Netflix viewer rating for wine.
  • Still, Vivino — which broke even last year — says it won’t be profitable this year or next (insert your own “Uber of wine” joke here).

IPO a No-Go: One thing that’s off the table, according to executives, is an initial public offering in the near term. It will be some time before retail investors get a taste.

Time to Come of Age
Vivino has raised $221 million to date, and it has 1.5 billion pictures of wine labels in its database.

But rapid expansion means, according to CEO Heini Zachariassen, the company is “relatively thin” in all of its markets. “So one of the big things here, is actually to go much deeper in each market and say, okay, we now know it works here, let’s put more resources in every single market,” he added.

The Takeaway: After the swell of sales during the Covid pandemic, Vivino had the choice to let it breathe or pop and pour. The Series D made things as clear as a Viognier.

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