Naked Wines expands into US and Oz

Naked Wines has raised £6.4m in revenue to expand its business in the US and Australia.

Naked Wines’ founder, Rowan Gormley

While the online company already has 50,000 customers in America and Australia, The Financial Times reports that it is hoping to expand that number to 250,000 over the next few years as crowdfunding becomes more commonplace.

“We want to be a Kickstarter for wine – not a retailer. More people are starting to understand the principle,” chief executive Rowan Gormley told the FT.

“We don’t do this to be nice. We are not a charity,” he added.

The £6.4m investment comes by way of German direct wine seller WIV Wein International, which has already invested £9m in the company.

“We’ve been in the wine business for 60 years, in 24 countries around the world, and Naked Wines’ business model is the biggest revolution we have seen,” Andreas Pieroth, the company’s joint managing director told the FT.

The paper reports that WIV Wein International owns around 66% of Naked Wines, while staff own 10% and the Gormley owns the remainder.

Naked’s customers pay £20 a month to invest in winemakers in exchange for preferential rates.

So far, the company has invested £25m in 130 winemakers around the world and currently supplies around 10m bottles of wine a year.

Naked Wines’ revenues jumped 57% year-on-year to £35m last year.

The company was founded by Gormley in 2008 after he left his post as chief executive of Virgin Wines.

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