From grapeless wine to AI-driven pairings, these startups are redesigning the way wine is produced, distributed, and consumed.
Often perceived as very traditional, the millennia-old wine industry may finally be getting a tech upgrade.
From wine subscription services to rating apps, startups in the space are innovating more than ever before. Connected corks and bottles are starting to emerge, as well as algorithm-based recommendation features to better match personal tastes to wine.
We used the CB Insights database to identify over 50 wine tech startups and the 8 categories within which they operate. The companies in the following graphic have raised over $400M in total funding, led by advanced cork developer Coravin, which raised $64M in total funding.
Graphic includes private companies only and is not meant to be exhaustive of companies in the space. Categories are not mutually exclusive. Please click to enlarge.
A number of smart money VCs have placed bets in the sector including Accel Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, and Battery Ventures. Some leading corporations are also paying attention to the space, including Moët Hennessy — part of luxury conglomerate LVMH — which launched an alcohol innovation lab in France known as the MH Lab 78.
We define wine tech to include tech-enabled companies focused on the production, distribution, and consumption of wine. This includes e-commerce platforms, mobile apps, connected objects, and hardware, among others.
Scroll down to see the full list of companies in the graphic.
E-commerce — This category provides platforms to buy wine online, and is the most well-funded category on our map. E-commerce startups include China-based YesMyWine ($53M in total funding) and NY-based Lot18, which raised a total of $44M from Accel Partners and New Enterprise Associates, among others. Lot18 has also partnered with companies to create special branded wines, including a Saturday Night Live-themed wine collection in December 2017.
Rating Apps — These startups have developed mobile apps that allow users to rate wines as well as place orders. Some apps include image recognition features, such as Chinese app 9KaCha. France-based WineAdvisor let users scan bottles with the mobile app to learn more.
Pour & Serve — Companies in this category are developing products to improve pouring and serving. 10-Vins, Kuvee, Coravin are creating wine by-the-glass pouring machines to enhance the way wine is dispensed. Some startups are working on connected corks (Aveine) that provide the right aeration; others are working on methods of wine sampling (Vinovae) and wine purifying (The Wand).
Tech-Enabled Storage — Companies like Caveasy or Cellier Domesticus offer environment monitoring features (such as temperature control) and connected wine racks to help manage and track wine inventory. This category also includes startups like Cavissima, which offers storage services for the wine you purchase on its platform.
Artificial Intelligence — These startups use artificial intelligence to pair wine with an individual’s taste preferences or to specific meals (Matcha). Sublivin uses AI to predict the ideal consumption date for a specific bottle of wine.
Next-Gen Wine Production — While Ava Winery aims to produce molecule-based wine without grapes, Biome Makers is researching the microbiome to provide insights and recommendations to wine producers. This category also includes video game Vinoga, which aims to help users learn about the wine production process, and even offers players the chance to taste wines that have been produced virtually in the game.
On-Demand — These startups offer on-demand wine and spirits delivery. US-based Drizly is the most well-funded startup in this category with $34.2M in total funding. France-based KOL, which offer 24/7 wine and spirits delivery, raised $1.1M this year to expand its services beyond the Paris area.
Subscription Services — This category includes companies which offer subscription-based wine delivery services. Startups in this category often use internal algorithms to deliver personalized recommendations based on taste and ratings. Winc — which creates a taste profile for users based on how much they like salt, citrus, and other flavors (and then sends them a personally tailored selection each month) — is the most well-funded startup in this category, having raised $42M.
|YesMyWine||Chengwei Capital, DCM Ventures, Mandra Capital||E-commerce|
|Lot18||Accel Partners, FirstMark Capital, New Enterprise Associates||E-commerce|
|Vinomofo||Blue Sky Alternative Investments||E-commerce|
|Jiumei||Shenzhen Capital Group||E-commerce|
|Vicampo||Burda Principal Investments, e.ventures, Passion Capital||E-commerce|
|invino||Correlation Ventures, DN Capital, Founders Fund, Kima Ventures, LaunchCapital, Veddis Ventures||E-commerce|
|Vino75||Club Italia Investimenti, Invitalia Ventures||E-commerce|
|Vente a la propriete||Partech Ventures||E-commerce|
|wineOwine||Angel Partner Group, LVenture Group||E-commerce|
|Ava Winery||Horizons Ventures, IndieBio||Next-Gen wine production|
|Biome Makers||Illumina Accelerator, Terra, Viking Global Investors||Next-Gen wine production|
|Vinoga||N/A||Next-Gen wine production|
|Minibar||Great Oaks Venture Capital, Winklevoss Capital, Corigin Ventures||On-Demand|
|Drizly||Polaris Partners, Suffolk Equity Partners||On-Demand|
|Saucey||Blumber Capital, Structure Capital, Nick Jonas||On-Demand|
|Vinovae||N/A||Pour & Serve|
|Coravin||Battery Ventures, Quadrille Capital, Windham Venture Partners||Pour & Serve|
|Plum||Khosla Ventures, Las Olas VC||Pour & Serve|
|Kuvee||Bolt Innovation Group, Founder Collective, General Catalyst||Pour & Serve|
|Synek||N/A||Pour & Serve|
|VinPerfect||Sacramento Angels||Pour & Serve|
|The Wand (Purewine)||Health Wildcatters||Pour & Serve|
|HaloVino||Kickstarter||Pour & Serve|
|10-Vins||InVivo Invest||Pour & Serve|
|Aveine||AcceleRise||Pour & Serve|
|MyOeno||N/A||Pour & Serve|
|Winemill||N/A||Pour & Serve|
|Vivino||Balderton Capital, PROfounders Capital, SEED Capital||Rating App|
|9KaCha||Balintimes Media, Haier Capital||Rating App|
|Wine Ring||N/A||Rating App|
|WineAdvisor||BPI France||Rating App|
|Winc||500 Startups, Amplify, Bessemer Venture Partners||Subscription Services|
|Penrose Hill||BAM Ventures, Greycroft Partners, Tribeca Venture Partners||Subscription Services|
|Bright Cellars||BrightStar Wisconsin, CSA Partners, gener8tor||Subscription Services|
|The Wine Gallery||N/A||Subscription Services|
|Splash Wines||CircleUp||Subscription Services|
|VINEBOX||TMT Investments, Y Combinator||Subscription Services|
|Foot of the Bed Cellars||N/A||Subscription Services|
|Le Petit Ballon||Vente Privee||Subscription Services|
|Vinfolio||Panorama Capital, Revolution, VF Wine||Tech-Enabled storage|
|Underground Cellar||Barbara Corcoran Venture Partners, Y Combinator||Tech-Enabled storage|
|Cellier Domesticus||AcceleRise||Tech-Enabled storage|