Vinomofo, one of Australia’s fastest growing startups, has changed the way that Australian consumers think about wine and purchase it. Since Justin Dry and Andre Eikmeier founded the company in 2011, it has garnered 400,000 members and 75,000 active customers – which is perhaps the most important number that the pair take notice of. In this financial year, the business is set to exceed over $50 million in revenue, with Dry saying that the business is now growing at 100 percent year on year.
Vinomofo is also getting set to embark on a quite aggressive overseas growth strategy into new markets.
“Our overseas expansion plan has changed quite dramatically,” says Dry. “We were going to go market by market and as opposed to doing that, we’ve now come up with a limited Vinomofo offering that we will take into several markets at the same time. We’ve started to launch a limited Vinomofo offering so they can taste Vinomofo around the world all at the same time.”
One of these markets that the startup will be entering into is China; Shanghai in particular is a market they will be diving quite deeply into. In fact, it would have been the company’s first market if they went with their original market by market strategy.
“We’re still quite advanced in that market. Instead of that we’re going to do an offering and we’re going to launch it in February, and basically it’s going to involve a countdown to an event and it’s going to be based around this; we’re opening up Vinomofo on this date to the world,” says Dry.
“We’ll send wine to each of these markets based on that day and we’ll do a pre launch campaign, spend on some social and use our referral program, because we’ve got a lot of traffic and our members that come from those countries and we can make a bang in each of those markets.”
After doing this Dry says that Vinomofo will be following up on each of these markets to see which one has the best traction, giving the company a low risk way to work out which market is the most attractive and looks likely to continue to have the most traction.
The company has also hired a new global lead that is responsible for heading up the efforts of meeting with suppliers across different countries. They have a vast amount of experience importing and exporting wine throughout Asia over the last decade. Part of that role will include setting up teams on the ground in each of those markets.
The beauty about Asia is that Vinomofo could very realistically become the dominant player very quickly. In the United States there are a couple of businesses that have a slightly similar business model to Vinomofo, however in Asia there is really nothing like it. It is also a ripe opportunity for the company as the current offerings in market are not a great experience for the customer.
“We’re super excited about Asia,” says Dry. “The interesting thing for us is, for example, the Chinese market is about to take over the US market in terms of consumption. So that number just boggles the mind. For such a late start into wine as a market, it’s growing extremely quickly and the current offerings in the Asian market are kind of a broad range.”
Dry said, “The challenge in emerging markets in the wine space is the consumer is looking at the curation and advice because they’re looking very early in their development as a consumer.”