Naked Wines raises $10m from German investors WIV Wein International

Online wine marketplace to use finance to speed up overseas expansion

UK-based wine company Naked Wines has secured $10m from existing investors, German direct wine seller, WIV Wein International, in return for the majority equity stake of the business.

Launched in 2008 by Rowan Gormley (pictured), former chief executive at Virgin Wines, Naked Wines connects independent winemakers directly with UK consumers supplying unique, premium brands at reduced rates in exchange for a membership fee.

The international wine specialist, featured in the top 10 of the 2010 Startups 100 index and winner of the Startups Awards 2010, intends to reinvest the capital to speed up its expansion across the US and Australia.

It has already used its unique proposition to support 130 winemakers across the globe, with 100,000 customers in the UK and 50,000 in Australia and America.

The backing from WIV Wein International marks the wine company’s third successful funding round, taking them to a total of £25m invested so far, after raising £9m from the German wine business previously.

As part of its growth plans the company wants to increase the popularity of its crowdfunding model where it lets customers fund money into wine projects. As Gormley discussed:

“We want to be a Kickstarter for wine – not a retailer.”

Andreas Pieroth, joint managing director of WIV Wein International, added: “We’ve been in the wine business for 60 years, in 24 countries around the world, and Naked Wines’ business model is the biggest revolution we have seen.”


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