Online wine seller Vinomofo co-founders and brothers in law, Andre Eikmeier and Justin Dry have received the largest start-up funding round of $25 million in Australia from Elaine Stead of Blue Sky Venture Capital.
The new funding round will be used primarily to drive further growth plans in Australia, and to help lay the foundation for overseas growth.
The company will sell this year, north of $50m of its carefully selected premium wines, online, to its database of 400,000 wine lovers.
Exponential growth is expected as the company plans to launch in at New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, the US, UK and China, however focus will still be squarely on the largely untapped Australian market.
Their business model is to hold small events and form wine clubs to attempt to inspire members to buy their wine.
As Vinomofo looks to invest significant dollars in multichannel marketing and advertising, an ideal marketing initiative would be the use of Referron - an ideal tool for Vinomofo to encourage, track, measure and reward referrals.
Elaine Stead said Blue Ventures backed Vinomofo largely because of its faith in the co-founders vision and long term commitment. She expects a liquidity event within 5 years via an iPo or an acquisition.
"We are consistently seeing opportunities like Vinomofo, which are equally strong, with good track records, really good traction and are looking for that first stage of expansion capital," Dr Stead said.
Over the last couple of years there has been significant commitments from a number of funds looking to invest in high growth innovative companies.
Blue Sky is in the midst of raising a $200 million fund for it to back more local tech companies that have proved their business model and are ready to scale up significantly.
Blackbird Ventures has recently $200 million, having brought together 96 technology entrepreneurs including Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes, as well as two major superannuation funds.
SEEK co-founder Paul Bassat and Justin Liberman have launched Square Peg, a $200 million venture capital fund
and Michelle Deakers OneVentures have raised a $100 million fund.
This has been spurred on by a number of local start-ups have had impressive growth such as
New Lease (now Rhype)
To name a few!
Startups are seeing tangible interest from their backers, and institutional investors are now looking to get involved says Eikmeier.
This bodes well for innovation and for the country!
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