At first glance, the stuffy corporate world and a startup with ‘mofo’ in its name seem like strange bedfellows, but Melbourne online wine retailer Vinomofo has decided to launch a corporate partnership program nonetheless.
The program will give businesses access to a curated list of wines, a dedicated corporate broker, free shipping, and give their staff corporate member status.
Interestingly, the idea for the program – dubbed the ‘Very Important Mofo’ program – came to founders Andre Eikmeier and Justin Dry after they were asked on a number of occasions to go into different workplaces and talk about the Vinomofo story and share any business advice.
“Companies would often ask us to come in and talk to their team about the Vinomofo culture and share our business insights and learnings. What we quickly discovered was that many individuals were already Vinomofo members, so we looked into our database and realised that we had massive pockets of our tribe working for the company,” Dry said.
There’s a huge opportunity for the startup in this space: the corporate world is often stereotyped as boozy, with long lunches fuelled by half a dozen bottles of wine bought on the company card. While reality may not quite live up to the movies, introducing a corporate membership overseen by a dedicated broker still creates a solid relationship that will help Vinomofo sell, and with Dan Murphy’s still dominating the market both online and off – the retail giant has more than 50 percent market share online – every edge counts.
Eikmeier said that while he and Dry plan on rapidly scaling the program, the startup wants to make sure it’s collaborating with the right companies “that get our brand and the mofo way.”
Anyone vaguely familiar with Vinomofo knows company culture is important to the founders, who famously bought the company back from Catch Group in 2013 and doubled down on their values. The startup’s ‘Do Good’ credo has seen it partner with Uber for its ‘random acts of kindness’ project, while in August it announced a partnership with animal welfare charity PetRescue to launch the Workplace Foster Care Program, which matches homeless dogs and cats with workplace foster families
Vinomofo will be donating to each corporate member’s chosen charity upon sign up.
The program is the latest in a line of big steps for the startup, which has generated $35 million in revenue since 2011 and now has 350,000 members. It won mainstream recognition in July, taking out three awards at the Online Retail Industry Awards including the top prize of Online Retailer of the Year, after which the founders signalled their intention to expand into Asia over the coming months. Dry and Eikmeier also invested $250,000 into Melbourne meal delivery startup Nourissh last month.