|Wine.Com’s $140 million funding foundation takes #1 position in WII’s wine venture funding series -- WINE EXECUTIVE NEWS |HEADLINE | Premium Member Briefing | May 16, 2018
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From editor & publisher, Lewis Perdue
May 16, 2018
Wine.Com’s $140 million funding foundation takes #1 position in WII’s wine venture funding series
Wine.Com is truly the last company standing that grew out of the early bleeding edge of wine e-commerce. The current Wine.com -- and its total funding -- is an amalgam that includes Virtual Vineyards, WineShopper.Com, and eVineyard.
In 2017 company statements, Wine.Com says it is the largest online retailer in the U.S. with more than $100 million in annual sales.
That revenue is built on more than $140 million in funding, at least half of which was wiped off the books in a 2001 Chapter 11 bankruptcy that was filed long before the current management and operations.
That means that my previous article listing Coravin as #1 was not accurate because it was based just on Wine.Com's post-bankruptcy fundings. However, the foundation of the current business was clearly established in the Jurassic Era of e-c0mmerce.
As a result, when all of the previous fundings are summed from all of the constituent companies that make up Wine.Com, it moves into the #1 position in wine venture funding with at least $140 million -- more than twice that of #2 Coravin.
Clearly, in that previous article, I had not thought critically enough about that when I put together the list of the top vino-recipients of venture capital.
That changed when I remembered a column I wrote for TheStreet.Com back in 1999: "Geerlings & Wading Into a Wine-on-the-Web Swamp." And that prompted me to take another look at how much money (and a Chapter 11) it took to get Wine.Com where it is today.
Below is the best financial archaeology I could muster in digging out and dusting off the bones. It is still incomplete due to the factors cited in the table disclaimer.
The remainder of this article and unredacted chart are available to Wine Executive News Premium Subscribers.
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Wine.Com's agonizing history
More complete Wikipedia references from a 2012 version
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