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Wine App Vivino Targets European Expansion After Fundraising

August 13, 2017

Wine app Vivino is expanding its online purchasing and rating business into three more European countries this quarter as it seeks to build on a web-based product for which it has so far raised $37 million in investment.

The app is scheduled to become available in Italy, Spain and Ireland by the end of September, according to Heini Zachariassen, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder, building on its existing business in the U.K., France, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and Switzerland. The United States remains its biggest market.

``Right now it's all about growth,'' Zachariassen said in an interview in London last month. The app has attracted 25 million users and lists 13,000 merchants on its platform. While users and merchants don't pay a fee to be on the site, Vivino charges a commission on wine bought through its app, which also lets consumers compare wines and rate them on a five-point scale.

Vivino was started back in 2010, with fundraising through 2015. ``We're like a traditional venture-backed company,'' he said, with the business now gaining ``decent traction.''

While it doesn't yet make a profit, he said that ``we've always had meaningful revenues'' and ``if we decided to take the foot off the accelerator, we could be profitable very quickly.''

Each day one million pages are shown in the app, of which half involve people scanning a bottle of wine. Around 100,000 ratings a day are added to the site, and wine transactions totaling more than $40 million a year, on which Vivino receives a commission, cross the platform. ``There's no-one else who has the date we have,'' Zachariassen said.

Future expansion may involve Latin America and Asia, Zachariassen indicated. He said that while the app has no commercial activity in Brazil, it has attacted large interest there, while China is also a potential area for development.

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