Naked Wines could halt investments
9th June, 2014 by Lauren Eads
Naked Wines could temporarily shut down its “angel” investment scheme to new members over fears it may not be able to produce enough wine for its investors, it has been reported.
Naked Wines founder Rowan Gormley
Set up in 2008 and dubbed the “kickstarter for vineyards”, Naked Wines allows wine lovers to come together and pool their funds to invest in independent winemakers – with 100 winemakers having benefitted in the last five years.
The scheme involves Naked Wine’s 220,000 “angels” from the UK, Australia and the US put in £20 each month which is then invested in a wine producer, with investors then able to enjoy the wine produces at wholesale prices.
However according to a report by the Financial Times, its UK managing director, Eamon Fitzgerald is considering temporarily closing its doors to new members should the company not be able to keep up with demand, with the company currently gaining a further 500 angels everyday.
He said: “If the current rate of growth keeps up, we will have to shut our doors temporarily to stem demand.”
“We are absolutely not prepared to compromise on the quality of our wines or of our service to existing angels, so closing the door on new business sounds crazy, but actually feels like the most sensible thing to do.”
Fitzgerald added: “We do want to continue to grow angel numbers, but only at a rate that can be sustained by our business model and doesn’t compromise our offering to our customers or our winemakers.”
In 2012 the company posted its first profit of £1m, after revenues leapt by 57% to £35m for the year, the Financial Times said, with last year sales jumping a further 67% to more than £60m.
Naked Wines was founded in 2008 by Rowan Gormley, who had previously founded Virgin Wines after a career in private equity.