Wine app Vivino is imbibing $10.3 million for its app that uses image recognition technology to identify wines.
Wine is one of the greatest pleasures in life. However, those of us without a refined palate or wine expertise often need help selecting a bottle (or five). I probably can’t identify the vintage, country of origin, flavor undertones, or even the grape just from tasting a wine. All I know is whether I like it or not.
Vivino is a tool that helps anyone from novices to oenophiles create a personal library of wine selections and learn more about their preferences based on the wines they are drinking. You take a picture of a wine label, and Vivino matches that photo against its database of 1.3 million wines. The app presents information about the producer, country, brand, varietals, vintage, and where to buy it locally. Users can maintain a list of wines “loved or loathed” as well as recommendations about other varieties they might like.
“We’re the bridge between tasting a great wine and buying it” said Vivino cofounder Theis Sondergaard in an previous interview with VentureBeat. “We really like wine, but we don’t know that much about it. We know what we like, when we taste it, but we don’t have a wine cellar, just a row of bottles in the kitchen. We use the Vivino app to educate ourselves a bit about the wines we drink, remember what wines we’ve enjoyed and want to try again — and the ones to avoid.”
Vivino is based in Copenhagen and competes with American startup Snooth, which offers image-based wine search as well as reviews, articles, question-and-answer forums, wine and food matching, and an online store. Wino drinkers now generate 2 million label scans each month using Vivino, and the startup added social features so people can see what their friends are drinking and discover new wines.
Vivino claims to be the most downloaded wine app in the world and the highest-ranked wine app in the United States. It recently added in optical character recognition (OCR) technology which improved the app’s accuracy rate in matching labels to 86 percent. Balderton Capital led this investment, which brings Vivino’s total capital raised to $12.4 million. The financing will help build out the database and technology and continue to add users in Europe and the Americas.