Added to our portfolio in 2015, Underground Cellar, an online marketplace of premium wines has raised $12.5M in Series A. The funding round was led by a venture capital firm, Accomplice in participation with Bling Capital and Golden Ventures.
The company has reinvented the wine industry with its innovative “gamification” technology integrated at the core of the platform, allowing customers to rely on the company’s panel of leading wine experts to curate collections of wines together by varietal, theme, or region. Leveraging their proprietary AI models and data engines, customers receive variable upgrades to create a fun and new way to reward customers with premium wines worth at least the same or more than they paid, with rare bottle upgrades being awarded every day often worth up to $10,000.
“Our physical and digital worlds are colliding together like never before, changing commerce forever. I invested in Underground Cellar because they are on the forefront of this change, and are well-equipped to become the catalyst that drives it to new levels,” says Ryan Moore, Co-founder of Accomplice.
“People don’t actually want the lowest price or biggest discount when they buy a bottle of wine, what they actually want is the greatest value” says Jeffrey Shaw, Underground Cellar’s Founder & CEO. “After seeing the harm that discounts were causing to wine brands I knew that the solution would be to drive excitement by upgrading customers’ purchases to more expensive, rare, and large-format bottles. We bridged the gap between the way people purchase and experience wine through Underground Cellar’s innovative gamified bottle upgrade technology. Not only does this create an exciting customer experience, but it allows wineries of luxury brands to sell bottles online to influential tech-savvy buyers without resorting to brand-damaging discounts.”
“This new infusion of capital will allow us to enhance our unique gamified platform, further deepen our relationships with the world’s most coveted and prestigious wineries, and unlocks our ability to triple the size of our team by the end of the year,” says Jeff Hardy, Underground Cellar COO.
Please read full story at Business Wire.