Q&A: Jimmy Metta, Spiritrade.com

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5th March, 2019 by Lauren Eads

As the founder of luxury drinks wholesaler Vanquish and co-founder of online drinks retailer 31Dover.com, Jimmy Metta knows a thing or two about the changing face of the UK drinks industry. Now he is bringing a new concept to market, with the launch of Spiritrade – a global drinks trading platform for spirits, beer, Champagne and non-alcoholic beverages, with the aim of creating an online trading community for drinks professionals.

Jimmy Metta

What’s Spiritrade all about, and how did you come up with the concept?

I have been in the industry for over 15 years and have always aimed to be at the forefront of drinks trading on a global scale. Throughout my experiences, I have come across many hurdles and found the industry to be very antiquated and open to many inefficiencies. My mission at Spiritrade is to create a unique marketplace, where buyers and sellers can trade in an environment which is efficient and secure.

Traders are often faced with the dilemma of whether or not to engage with new suppliers and markets. Spiritrade aims to alleviate many concerns faced by the trade daily. Our goal is to allow businesses greater opportunities and access to a new customer base from the around the world, thereby increasing their revenues streams and opportunities. Spiritrade is a trading platform for professionals in the drinks industry. Our technology designed by industry leaders, has been tailored to drinks industry needs and facilitates trades in an anonymous, safe and efficient environment.

What is your background in drinks?

My background comes from founding a luxury drinks wholesaler called Vanquish in 2004 and co-founding an online drinks retailer called 31Dover.com, both multiple award winning businesses. Vanquish was sold in 2017. These experiences have allowed me to gain the great acumen and experience needed to create a trading platform in the eyes of a trader.

What does Spiritrade offer that other drinks trading platforms do not?

There is simply no comparable trading platform to ours, we are the first drinks trading platform of its kind We have invested a great amount of time and capital in the development of the technology behind the platform. We partnered with a leading software development company, behind blue chip companies such as the London Stock Exchange and Eurostar, in order to create a state of the art trading platform which is user friendly, accessible and efficient. The benefits include safety and integrity throughout, we have introduced numerous security features which will ensure that our members are protected. All trades are anonymous, which allows our users full direction and greater freedom to trade. Spiritrade features a dedicated negotiation area and quick trading through the click of a button. Spiritrade is a safe community of industry professionals from around the world.

Who is the platform aimed at?

Spiritrade is aimed at all drinks professionals. Our members include wholesalers, cash and carries, brand owners and traders. We have had an excellent, global response from the trade since launching early February. It is evident that there is a great demand and need for our trading platform. The industry prior to Spiritrade’s launch, has been antiquated and open to counterfeit stock and rouge traders, as well as human error. Spiritrade has been designed to modernise and revolutionise the way that drinks are traded. Safety and integrity are at the forefront of our platform, as well as an automated system, in order to alleviate the mentioned concerns. We have received very strong feedback from our users, who find this tool useful to sell stock more efficiently and improve buying capabilities. Since our launch, multiple trades have been facilitated through our exchange.

How do you plan to monitor the authenticity of trades and the credibility of those selling wines and spirits on your platform?

All members are carefully selected and vetted, prior to being allowed access to Spiritrade. All members must pass a due diligence process, as safety is at the core of this business. Once members are allowed access on to the exchange, they can upload listings. Each listing is submitted for approval. The listing needs to meet our terms and conditions, and only then will it go live on to the exchange. Once a deal is agreed, funds are held in a trusted escrow facility. Stock is then shipped to the warehouse, where it is verified by a third party. Once approved, funds are then released from escrow. We believe that these numerous factors will ensure security and integrity throughout the trading process.

How has the drinks industry changed in the past five years?

The truth is our industry has struggled in terms of evolving and adapting with our times. The industry is still the same as it was when I started 15 years ago except suppliers are now trading more freely. With the rest of the world being so efficient, be it Uber for Transport, Alibaba for e-commerce, Deliveroo for food, I truly believe drinks industry must catch up with the times and modernise. There is an opportunity to make the industry run in a far more efficient and safe manner and traders should have access to opportunities and more revenue streams.

What do you hope to achieve in the first year, and what are your aims for the platform going forward?

I hope that Spiritrade becomes an indispensable tool for the trade and I truly hope that our members prosper and evolve through this process. Spiritrade was designed with the trader in mind, and naturally I want to see all members profit and grow through using our platform. Going forward, we aim to become a safe, global community of drinks industry professionals. Spiritrade aims to modernise the way that drinks are traded and ensure a more secure and efficient trading environment. Going forward we look to explore new markets around the world in our efforts to bring the drinks industry together.

For more information visit Spiritrade.com

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