WINE STARTUP SIPS ON $25 MILLION SEED CAPITAL

WINE STARTUP SIPS ON $25 MILLION SEED CAPITAL
MELBOURNE wine startup Vinomofo has completed its first capital raise at A$25 million backed entirely by Blue Sky Venture Capital.

The raise coincides with the company's fifth year in business and the roll out of a business 'lite' model offer into six new markets including New Zealand, USA, UK, Singapore, Hong Kong and China.

Launched from an Adelaide garage in 2011, by co-founders Andre Eikmeier and Justin Dry (pictured L-R), the 100-employee operation is now headquartered from Cremorne, Victoria.

Vinomofo's online offering is based on curation and value. The startup sources direct from producers, on selling to 400,000-plus members.

Eikmeier, who is also joint CEO, says the funding will enable rapid scale for the business upon a proven and robust model, both locally and abroad.

Blue Sky Venture Capital is a division of Brisbane-based Blue Sky Alternative Investments (ASX: BLA).

"From what we've seen across the past five years in Australia, we believe that a lot of people all over the world need Vinomofo - wine lovers and makers alike, and this investment is going to help us bring our vision to life," he says.

"Vinomofo has achieved 100 per cent year on year growth for the past 12 months, we're on track this financial year to surpass $50 million in annual revenue, and now it's time to take our offer to the next level in Australia, and to the world."

Elaine Stead, investment director at Blue Sky Venture Capital, says the fund is coming across more and more companies that need 'at least $20 million' to execute on expansion plans.

Eikmeier says the team never wanted to rush into capital raising, and just felt the synergy was right between Vinomofo and Blue Sky Venture Capital.

"We certainly haven't rushed into this decision to raise. We've valued our independence, and our culture is at the heart of what we've built," says Eikmeier.

"When it became clear to Justin and I that a raise was the right thing to do strategically, finding the right partner was paramount, and Blue Sky emerged as a clear fit.

"We're also really proud the entire raise was funded here in Australia, with an Australian partner. It's a good sign for the future of our start-up and growth company eco-system."

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