Philippines’ first curated online wine marketplace continues its meteoric rise with new venture funding
Manila, Philippines, May 29, 2018 -- Winery Philippines (Winery.ph) announced today that it has raised a second round of funding from a consortium of HNW private investors, aiming to further accelerate sales and marketing activities and fund operational capacity to service its growing customer base and vendor partners. Although the exact valuation remains undisclosed, the latest deal places the company at a modest 7 digit USD valuation, tripling the company’s value in less than a year after its initial round after beating its business case in the 4th quarter of 2017.
Launched in June 2017, Winery Philippines is a curated online wine marketplace that sells quality, value for money wines from boutique wine importers from around the world.
“Winery.ph is well positioned at the nexus of rapidly increasing consumer interest in wine and wine knowledge, the blistering rate of growth of e-commerce, and amidst a backdrop of strong macroeconomic growth - with the Philippines now trading places with China as the fastest growing economy in Asia,” said Chris Urbano, Founder and Managing Director at Winery Philippines. “While venture capital has poured into Chinese wine and spirits marketplaces over the past five years, smaller but promising markets like the Philippines are still off the radar for many investors. Our backers see the chance to establish early market leadership amidst thinner competition, higher margins and a small but profitable and fast growing segment,” he added.
Retail wine revenue in the Philippines amounts to US$300m and is expected to grow annually by 9%, up to $400m in 2021, with 3-5%, or $12m to $20m, estimated to be derived from online sales channels. High demand for wine is sustained by the growing number of middle- and higher-income consumers.
Winery Philippines is now pioneering the discovery of wine for the next five million Philippine wine drinkers. While in the past wine has been the purview of resident foreigners and a small, internationalised elite, rising incomes are seeing the start of a new generation of affluent consumers ready and able to purchase wine on a constant basis. “Winery.ph supports these customers in their wine journeys by providing digital buying experience centered around curation, content and community,” said Urbano.
Unlike other ecommerce sites, Winery Philippines differentiates itself through its world class digital content and curation approach designed to empower its customers to discover wine, by providing easy to digest product information that is contextualised for the Filipino wine drinker. In addition, the company has also launched Kavino Club, the first online wine subscription, allowing Philippine consumers to receive a curated range of 2, 3, or 6 bottles monthly at generous discounts, wine information cards, year-round freebies and perks.
Meanwhile, ecommerce is rapidly transforming the retail landscape in Asia where better choice, convenience and prices are winning customers over from traditional retail shopping.
“While an emerging wine market, there is already considerable and growing interest in learning about and drinking great wine in the Philippines,” said Urbano. “But the problem is that -- Philippine wine drinkers at large don’t have access to good quality wines and prices are often poor value for money compared to buying elsewhere due to the monopolised and high cost nature of retail distribution in the Philippines.”
Winery.ph is committed to democratising the category, making good wine affordable for more Filipinos, who can be put off by the prevailing high prices to ensure a quality bottle, or else resorting to cheap but mediocre options to avoid ‘selection risk’. Winery.ph by contrast does not list mass-produced, factory made wines, but instead focuses on lowering the prices of quality wines that might cost 10-20 USD abroad, and getting these to consumers in the Philippines for the same price.
On the supply side, Winery.ph is also enabling smaller boutique wine importers to take advantage of the opportunities in the fast growing ecommerce movement, providing these importers and distributors with high quality wine portfolios a viable, direct route to new customers.
Urbano emphasized that, “the high prevalence of distribution gatekeepers in the supermarket and hotel and restaurant scene limits the ability of smaller boutique quality wine importers to get their goods to market. Winery Philippines connects the many, smaller-scale wine importers who don’t have the infrastructure to directly service consumers with people are looking to buy better range, quality wines.”
Through its marketplace model, the company has been able to rapidly grow an outstanding portfolio of quality and direct sourced wines from around the world, already covering wines from Australia, France, USA, Italy, Portugal, New Zealand and Chile -- with more wine regions and varieties being added each month. “We’re the next best thing to visiting a boutique winery abroad and finding a bottle you love. Not all Filipino consumers can afford to fly to the Napa Valley or Chianti once a year, so we bring the wineries to the Philippines instead.”
Winery.ph currently serves a majority of customers in Metro Manila, but is growing order volume from provincial areas and second tier cities where access to quality and value for money wine is even more limited than in the capital.
“Our goal is simple: to become the most trusted and popular destination for quality, value-for-money wines anywhere in the Philippines”
About Winery Philippines
Winery Philippines (Winery.ph) curates and sells the best quality, value for money wines in the Philippines through an online wine marketplace, launched in 2017 by a group of passionate wine lovers, who wanted to drastically improve access to good quality wine for Filipinos.
Winery.ph services customers in Metro Manila, as well as other locations in the Philippines. Wines are sourced from Australia and USA, direct from the wineries and from the best Manila wine suppliers to ensure only the best boutique, quality wines.
Kavino Club launches as first online wine subscription to exclusively offer curated, highly-rated wines in the Philippines
As wine continues to grow in popularity and sales soar over ecommerce platforms, online wine marketplace Winery Philippines has launched Kavino Club in the Philippines, offering customers a monthly wine subscription and delivery service at the click of a button.