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Finding a good wine to pair with your food can be difficult, but that’s what Vivino is banking on. It specializes in technology to turn you into a wine connoisseur, and its success has attracted the attention of investors outside of the United States. The company disclosed today that it has raised a $25 million Series B round, led by SCP Neptune International, the investment arm of Moet Hennessy’s global CEO Christophe Navarre.
With this new investment, Vivino stated that it will expand its marketing efforts in the world’s top wine consumption regions, including the U.S., Italy, France, Spain, Belgium, and Germany. It currently counts 13 million users across 228 countries. A company spokesperson told VentureBeat that Vivino has aspirations to reach 25 million users by the end of 2016 and expand by 50 million per year after that.
“Our mission to help people all around the world find great wine requires significant resources across the wine and technology industries,” said Vivino CEO Heini Zachariassen. “Thanks to the incredible investment and insights of Christophe Navarre, we’re incredibly well-suited to continue to attack our mission in unprecedented fashion.”
Originally based in Copenhagen, Denmark, Vivino established a U.S. presence in 2014. Its app utilizes image recognition technology to identify the wines you’re drinking by scanning the bottles. From there, you can save the ones you like (or don’t), and the service will then find similar ones that you might enjoy.
“Trying to determine which wine to try and buy is overwhelming,” explained Zachariassen. “When I founded Vivino, apart from scores from a few critics, there was so little helpful information available to help wine drinkers find their next wine to enjoy…Now, we have the world’s largest wine library — we are the only resource available where you can find a rating on nearly every single wine in the world.”
While Vivino has focused on some key wine-drinking regions, it’s also looking at continued expansion into new markets, such as Mexico, Brazil, Sweden, Portugal, and Canada. However, the company hasn’t said when it will move on that plan.
Vivino’s not the only one interested in capitalizing on the wine market. It competes against the likes of Delectable, Naked Wines, Cork’d, Smooth Media, and others. In order to further stand out, and to show that it’s perhaps one of the best in terms of wine knowledge, Vivino has partnered with industry expert Karen MacNeil.
“We know we must partner with renowned industry experts who share our mission and who can lend experience, expertise, perspective, and credibility to our platform. There is no one that fits the bill better than Karen MacNeil,” Zachariassen stated. “With two industry luminaries like Christophe Navarre and Karen MacNeil joining Vivino, it sends a message to the industry: The way consumers discover and buy wine is changing and Vivino is leading the charge.”
To date, the company has raised $37 million in funding, including a $10.3 million Series A round in 2013.
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