Club W, a wine club startup based in Los Angeles, is rebranding as Winc. The team has also raised an additional $17.5 million in funding co-led by the Beijing-based Shining Capital and existing investor Bessemer Venture Partners.
Originally just an online marketplace, the company has expanded to a full-fledged alcohol business, sourcing and producing all of the wines it sells. Customers fill out a “palate profile” and the team provides personalized recommendations, with options for as low as $13 per bottle.
The startup says that they are able to offer wines at a lower price point because they are eliminating middle-men like importers and wholesalers from the wine distribution process. Winc sources its bottles directly from the vineyards.
Winc “applies a digitally native approach to doing the same kinds of things that other wine clubs have been doing,” CEO Xander Oxman tells TechCrunch. “Yet we try to deliver more value in a way that also creates a better consumer experience overall.”
The wines are not only available online, but also through offline distribution channels because Winc beverages are served at restaurants and select retailers.
Winc’s “ability to create unique wines that are approachable and a great value is playing well across a number of new channels and we see their growth potential exploding in the new channels,” said Rob Stavis, partner at Bessemer. “We were compelled by the early metrics and the potential market size.”
The latest round brings Winc’s total funding to over $30 million.