Australian winery software provider WithWine is toasting its second consecutive oversubscribed seven-figure capital raise.
Backed by prominent industry and business figures – including an early and significant backer of Fortescue Metals Group – this latest round of funding will help bring the long-term vision of the company to life.
WithWine CEO and Founder Richard Owens (above) said: “This latest capital raise will enable us to secure our position within the wine industry in Australia, grow abroad, and continue to provide genuine value for our winery clients and their customers over the long term. We’re not here to make a quick buck.”
Established in 2014, WithWine has resonated with wineries looking to increase the size of their direct-to-customer business and provide the ultimate experience for customers. Since its first foray into the industry, WithWine has worked with an ever-growing number of wineries including household names Henschke, Leeuwin Estate and Peterson’s.
“We came to the market with the intention of making wine easier to sell direct, by making it easier for customers to buy direct and we’re thrilled how keen the industry is to prioritise our customer-centric approach,” said Owens.
Direct-to-consumer (often referred to as DtC) sales have never been more important for wineries. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the industry’s pivot to DtC and WithWine was well positioned to facilitate the shift many wineries had to make in a short period of time.
The average Australian shopper is increasingly shopping online. According to reports from data analyst Statista, 72% of the population shop online and eCommerce users are expected to grow by 12% to 20 million users in Australia in 2024.
“The lockdowns and border closures forced wineries to re-evaluate the security of their traditional sales channels,” said Owens. “Regular winery consumers want to support their favourite wineries and support the Aussie economy but without a modern online presence or appropriate facility to re-engage with previous visitors, wineries were consistently missing out on the more profitable opportunities for repeat sales.
“The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the effectiveness of our software, the calibre of our support, the strength of our business model and the genuineness of our desire to help wineries.”