Vivino raises $155 million for wine recommendation and marketplace app – TechCrunch

by Jeremy

If you’re at all interested in wine, chances are you’ve turned to Vivino at least a few times for recommendations. The app and the company behind it have been helping people enjoy better wine since 2010, and now the startup has raised $155 million with its Series D round – a sum over twice as large as all of its previous funding to date. Spurred by rapid growth

that has seen its user base grow from 29 million in 2018 to 50 million currently, Vivino wants to use the significant cash injection to boost its core tech and personalized recommendation engine while expanding its presence in key growth markets globally. Vivino is an exciting company for many reasons, but chief among them might be how similar its vision today is to the one it started with. In an interview, founder and CEO Heini Zachariassen told me that the app has been remarkably immune to the pivot – something as natural as breathing in the fast-flowing startup world.

“I can look at my slide from when I pitched this ten years ago,” he told me. “It says, ‘Hey, you scan a bottle of wine; then you can buy it.’ That makes a lot of sense to anybody, so it hasn’t changed much.”

“It’s been very, very difficult to build much – much harder to build than building that slide,” he joked. But it’s always been the same – we always knew that was going to be the model.”

That core value proposition is what leads to a lot of Vivino’s initial downloads and subsequent usage. The scenario is likely familiar: You’re sitting in a restaurant and browsing the wine menu or staring at a crowded shelf in a wine store. For myself, I think I likely searched for something like ‘wine recommendation app’ and found Vivino via the App Store, installed it, and was snapping photos of labels or menus within minutes. The recommendations provided somewhere to start, and since then, the app has grown more personalized as I’ve provided input about my tastes.

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