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The Vino Beano - A New Wine World

The Vino Beano is an alternative wine merchant specialising in bringing fine, artisan made wines, exclusively to the UK market; as well as providing clients with a complete wine experience.

Vår berättelse

The Vino Beano strives to be the “go to” merchant for wine enthusiasts in the UK, bringing to the market high quality, yet affordable, lovingly produced wines. 

The Vino Beano Limited (Company No. 08545158) is an alternative wine merchant specialising in bringing fine, artisanal wines, exclusively to the UK market, as well as providing clients with the complete wine experience.

We have five unique selling points:

1) Our approach:

We are moving away from mainstream brands within the wine world and focusing on those hidden gems that have yet to find a way to the UK market.  We extensively scour the globe for high quality wines from unrepresented artisan producers all over the world. From the classic “old world” estates in France, Italy, Germany and Spain to the “new world” and revolutionary new producers in USA, South America, Australia and New Zealand. We look for the best wines in the world, so you don’t have to.

2) Our impact:

By representing smaller, artisan wine makers, we aim at supporting local growers who are passionate about producing high quality wines and perpetuating good business practices in the industry. This not only enables us to put quality products on your table, but allows us to protect traditional production methods and the wine industry’s sustainability.

3) Our people:

Vino Beano’s Master of Wine, Robin Kick, is only one of only 338 in the world (at June 2016).  With one of the best palates in the world, she will help ensure the wines we offer are of the highest quality, while still representing return on investment. 

4) Our network:

Counting with a Master of Wine also opens the business up to a vast contact base and a network full of opportunities, in addition to credibility in the industry.  We also have a bespoke database of 22,000 CEO level executives, many of whom are The Vino Beano’s target market.

5) Our personal touch: 

We are investing significant amounts of time and funds into actively sourcing the finest unrepresented wines in the worlds. This commitment to finding and bringing high quality products to the UK, supported by extensive research and our own personable touch, is enabling us to establish strong partnerships with dedicated growers.

Vår affärs- och marknadssituation

Our mission is to make knowledge about the wine industry easily accessible to our customers and increase awareness of independent artisan producers, their products, their traditions and their story – including both their past and their future – to ultimately promote and protect sustainable wine production methods.

The market

There are many existing fine wine merchants operating in the e-commerce and retail space.  A majority of whom sell the main, well-known fine wine brands from key regions from across the world.  We believe this space is now over-populated.  This has increased competition in this marketplace, leading to saturation of the market and cost competition.  For this reason, margins are being driven down.  If the demand was still there, the effect would be lessened, however, since the ‘crash’ of the fine wine market in 2011/2012; the demand for these brand wines, particularly in the Middle East and Asia has dropped drastically.

Given this, there is no scope for new business to move in to this space in our opinion.  Particularly with the increase in ‘wine investment companies’; where wines are sold massively over the current retail price, on the basis that they are expected to increase in market value to cover the ludicrous margins that are placed on these wines and eventually give the buyer a profit (if at all).

Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 shows that from 2010 to 2015, value of the ‘top 50’ fine wines on the market had a 5-year high of 445.56 (index points) on 28/08/2011 and a 5-year low of 261.37 on 20/11/2015; stating a drop in value of 42% (source: www.liv-ex.com).  This further demonstrates the downturn in the fine wine investment market and a huge negative factor in the existing wine merchant model.

Existing merchants rely on the branded wines to sell their products.  People come to them for such products, because they know of them.  However, with the downturn in the high end wine market, we don’t see this continuing and feel that existing merchants are not prepared/willing, in a variety of ways, to aggressively go out and sell new products to counteract the downturn in the higher end. 

Having sold our first vintage of one supplier, we have built up a following, making each vintage thereafter far easier and more rewarding for everybody.  Taking these wines to people is the only way for us to generate the awareness and give the quality an opportunity to speak for itself.

Our offering is based on four main pillars:

1) Private/Retail Sales

Selling selected fine wines, by the bottle or full case, to private individuals via the e-commerce website, or via the promotional retail unit. 

2) Trade Sales

Selling selected fine wines to bars, restaurants and other catering establishments.

3) Broking/Sourcing Commission

Providing a platform for private buyers/collectors to sell on their wines to our network

4) Experiential wine education: “The VB Experience”

The Vino Beano offers customers the unique opportunity to not just purchase the finest undiscovered wines from around the globe but also, provides them with the chance to learn about the artisan ways in which they are produced, and the wine industry in general. With an educative approach, customers are offered the chance to appreciate the complexity behind each of our wines, the story of their names, the history of their estates and what the producers hope for the future. 

To bring the wine enthusiast and the wine artisan producer one step closer, we provided customers the opportunity to meet at curated events in the UK and guided trips to represented regions across the world. This personal touch aims at creating a loyal customer base and community with a true passion for good wine – ensuring a successful and sustainable competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Go-to-market plan

From a strategy perspective, The Vino Beano’s market penetration plan is based on a targeted and aggressive customer facing sales campaign. It will aim at generating substantial interest in the short term for our unique products, resulting in immediate revenue. We expect to be profitable from the beginning of year Two (2018), with significant revenue growth year on year. The medium term goal for The Vino Beano is to have wide industry presence with a focus on high reputational value, as a highly respected and trusted business.

Our sales strategy is based on a combination of online and offline activities that we want to build after the funding round:

Digital/Online Marketing:

  • Electronic brochure and promotional material;
  • SEO, web content and online advertising;
  • Monthly eNewsletter and other electronic media;
  • Social media management (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Flickr etc.);
  • Google Adwords and campaigns on social media platforms.

Public Relations:

  • Ongoing monthly PR campaign;
  • Media liaison and communications;
  • Wine reviews/press releases;
  • Partnerships with other brands/personalities.

Events/Promotions:

  • Launch party to showcase products and create awareness and press coverage;
  • Portfolio tasting to showcase products and create initial client base;
  • Corporate/Team building events;
  • Free invitations to The Vino Beano Club to engage clients and promote offerings.

Promotional Retail Unit:

  • This concept is based on the use of a custom made container as a movable promotional/retail unit.  This will specifically target retail parks, shopping centres and high foot fall areas. 

Relationship building:

  • Our sales/account management team have existing contacts which they can contact and use to generate immediate income and work towards their set targets.  They will each be involved in their own direct marketing to increase their client base, adding a personal feel to the way they manage their offers along with their client likes and behaviours.  

 

Vårt team

Vårt team

Our team is composed of high qualified professionals focused on executing our vision and pursuing our growth plan.

Robert Edwards

Managing Director

Rob is a highly experienced finance professional who, over the last 15 years, has worked in a key financial and organisational capacity with SMEs, plc and global organisations in various sectors.  More recently, Rob has started up, strategically invested in, and served as a Board member for various growing, and profitable organisations; giving him a well-rounded and seasoned head for business.

Along with a head for business, he is also a fine wine enthusiast.  What started as a job, became a hobby, and ultimately is now an obsession.  He learned in great detail how a wine merchant operates during his time with a reputable merchant; including general day to day operations of a merchants, sales strategies, key metrics, logistics, and specific financial reporting.  His experience and head for business, along with his passion for the products will be a key driving force of the business.  Rob will head up the sales and operational side of the business.

Over the last two years, Rob has spent his time learning more about the industry and building an extensive industry contact base to ensure The Vino Beano is an instant success.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/robert-edwards-11485a10

Robin Kick

Buyer/Master of Wine

Robin is a Master of Wine (MW), the most prestigious title in the world of wine, which means entry into the world’s best wine community. 

Her introduction to wine came while studying wine at the Université du Vin in Suze-la-Rousse in France’s Rhône Valley.  She then worked as a wine specialist at Christie’s auction house in Los Angeles, California for a number of years before returning to Europe to continue her wine education, worked as a buyer for Goedhuis & Co, a large independent wine merchant in London.

She is a now well-respected buyer, taster, award judge and consultant in the industry.  Her reputation, knowledge, experience, and palate are key assets to the operation of the business.  Through her MW network and community, she has an extensive contact base all over the World; and being based in Lugano, Switzerland puts her in the centre of the key European wine regions. 

Robin will spend her time developing relationships with growers and key agents, finding those hidden delights and strategically helping The Vino Beano bring them to market.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/robinkickmw

Jack Grosvenor

Senior Account Manager (Private Clients)

Jack is an enthusiastic and driven individual, whose detailed knowledge and passion for all aspects of the wine world has been intensively developed over the past ten years.

With initial experience in the high street with Threshers and Oddbins, and three years spent developing and running management training courses in both the public and private sectors, Jack decided it was time to return to the wine world.  Moving back to his native London, he took up the position of Personal Wine Adviser with one of the biggest merchants in the market, Laithwaite's Wine, as a member of its prestigious Classics team.

Outside the world of wine, Jack is a seasoned traveller and has an active interest in music and sport, with his remaining time split between the two – and of course, socialising with friends, family and colleagues, especially if it involves fine food and wine.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jack-grosvenor-7b567b2a

Barry Walker

Marketing/Communications Consultant

Barry Walker is a Public Relations and Marketing professional with over 25 years’ experience working with UK and International food manufacturers, producers and distributors. 

Barry has assisted a number of international food groups present their products to a European audience, including working with the Bajan government and devising its ‘Taste of Barbados’ programme; the success of which resulted in the development and implementation of a similar programme for the island of St Lucia with its ‘Taste of St Lucia’ initiative.  

Barry is a food writer, blogger, expert on Italian cured meats, as well as a regular judge at various food expos including judging the Salumi category during the 2015 Bellavita Expo in London.   

Recently Barry set up the Hampshire Salami Company, which now cures local produce plus makes Salumi and Salami in the true Italian style.  In his quest for knowledge, Barry found few books on curing meat Italian style, so is now writing his own.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/barrywalkerblackchilli
Risker

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Competition – Sticking to our vision of providing a new wine experience and bringing unique products to market. This will ensure we are seen as an alternative ‘value added’ supplier for those already buying fine wines from existing merchants.

Capital Expenditure – Due to the fact we are strategically sourcing unrepresented growers for sale in the UK, we expect to be able to negotiate favourable terms. This means we can commit to larger quantities of each stock line, without investing large sums of capital up front.

Logistics – Logistics are unavoidable in this industry but we are working with specialists in transport and storage of fine wines and they will take care of this side of the business. This means we can focus purely on the sales and operational side of the business.

Loss of Staff – This is a threat in any industry.  Our business relies strongly on the work of our Master of Wine. However, we aim to incentivise staff based on performance and ensure our remuneration package is at the very least at market rate. We also plan to provide an exciting and challenging workplace.

Loss of Stock in Transit – From a financial point of view, we will be fully insured for such losses.  Operationally, we would ensure stock levels are kept at a level where we would have at least two weeks’ stock remaining to fulfil any urgent orders while replacement stock is shipped.

Economy/Exchange Rate Volatility/Brexit – These circumstances will impact everybody in the wine business and indeed any organisation that imports large amounts of goods.  However, if we ensure our products are extremely good value and of the highest quality available, we can continue to provide a unique and value for money offering to our customers.  We can also trade currency when cash flow is positive to have the opportunity of purchasing at more favourable rates, although this does have an element of risk. 

Brexit has had an immediate impact on the exchange rate, making the wines around 10% more expensive.  However, as we purchase direct from producers and obtain the best rates, we are still able to keep our margins at our preferred level, and still be competitive in the market.  If the UK was not able to agree a free trade deal, there may be a tariff imposed on EU trade.  However, free trade (particularly in food and drink) is vital to the economies of the UK and EU countries, so I would expect to see the outcome of any deal protect this trade.

Increase In Government Duty & regulatory risk - Duty has continued to gradually increase year on year (most recently from £2.00 to £2.08 on a standard 750ml bottle of wine). The regulatory environment in alcohol products is stricter than in other products and services. If the legislation changes to be more restrictive it might affect the business. We cannot see this drastically increasing any further in the short term, meaning costs can be controlled.