Australian online wine retailer Vinomofo is to launch in Singapore as part of an international expansion plan.
“Singapore’s food culture is amazing and really fits with Vinomofo’s ethos,” says cofounder Andre Eikmeier, explaining why the city state was chosen as the company’s third market, after its launch in New Zealand in June.
“You can find the tastiest hawker fare at really reasonable prices – just look at the 2016 Michelin Guide for Singapore! That’s what Vinomofo is about, we want everyone to be able to experience good wine, and not have to pay a fortune for it. Which is why we can’t wait to pair Vinomofo with Singapore’s bustling food scene.”
In April, Vinomofo secured a $25 million investment from Blue Sky Venture Capital described as the largest single funding round raised by an Australian tech startup. The funds have allowed the company to embark on what it anticipates will be a global expansion.
“We’ve been blown away by the impact Vinomofo has had on wine lovers in Australia and New Zealand over the last five years, and we’re so excited to be launching in Singapore, our first step into Asia as part of our global expansion,” said Eikmeier.
A new company has been created in Singapore – Vinomofo Asia Holdings – which will become the regional Asian hub of the business. The retailer will officially launch in Singapore in December before expanding into Hong Kong and China. Beyond Asia it is targeting the US, with a California launch scheduled for the first half of 2017, and the UK.
The Asian expansion was determined by identifying the markets most interested in wines and which have difficult channels between producer and consumer.
“We looked at what are the markets that are consuming a lot of wine, and are fast growing countries,” he said.
“We looked at where traffic is coming from for our site at the moment. We get a lot of overseas traffic even though we only have an Australian offering.
“And, we did a lot of travelling. We travelled through the States, the UK to try and understand those markets, we talked to lots of people within those markets, we read all the research we could find on those markets, the growth trends – who was buying and how they were buying – to come up with the six markets that we have decided on as a ‘first step’.”
Vinomofo was born in a garage in Adelaide back in 2011, and in five years has built a database of more than 350,000 consumers.
“We love wine, and we wanted to build a place we thought we’d love to buy wine from, and hang out with other people who love wine,” the founder say on their website.
“We work directly with the best producers in the world to find the wines we love, and curate them to your taste. These are the wines we drink [ourselves]. If we don’t love it, we don’t sell it.”
Less than 5 per cent of wines that cross the company’s tasting bench actually make it onto the site.