Spiritrade, the secure global marketplace for professional drinks companies, is relaunching its platform after a record-breaking first year. Founder Jimmy Metta talks about adapting to new conditions.
It’s been an eventful 18 months at Spiritrade, the global stock exchange for drinks launched by industry veteran Jimmy Metta in March 2019. Within a year it had smashed its own growth plans by 300% and embarked on a fund-raising round to develop its capabilities. Now Metta, whose previous successes include luxury drinks wholesaler Vanquish and online drinks retailer 31Dover.com, is poised to roll out phase two this month in his bid to refresh and revolutionise the marketplace for drinks.
The first year, he said, was a great learning curve, which enabled the team to engage with its members and understand exactly what they need.
“It was very much a ‘version one’ that we launched last year,” Metta explains. “It’s been about learning what the market needs then adding it as and when – that’s the point of evolving as a business.”
After carrying out research, and armed with a seven-figure investment, the team has worked with one of the best software agencies in Israel, a global hotspot for technology, to re-engineer the platform to make it more engaging and flexible.
Metta is excited about the new features, which will make trading stock faster, safer and more convenient, allowing members to trade directly from their smartphones.
“We’ve done a lot of work on branding. The team has worked with one of the best software agencies in Israel to re-engineer the
platform to make it more engaging and flexible to get across the message of who we are now. We’re a global marketplace, we are
unique and we want people to see us in the right light,” he said.
New features include a rotating stock-ticker to keep members abreast of what stock is being traded and the latest prices; a new log in with pop-ups asking which products members are interested in, linked to alerts that flag up potential matches as they are added to ensure members don’t miss out. Sellers will be able to upload hundreds of stock lines with the click of a button, and new multi-
currency capabilities will allow members to trade in US dollars, Sterling and Euros, while Hong Kong dollars and other Asian currencies are likely to be added to cater for the platform’s growing Asian market.
Metta says: “We’ve seen a lot of trade with Asia of late, and they’re buying a lot of stock from Europe and the UK, so our new platform will have a full translation and video dubbing in Mandarin.”
The developments have been made against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, that has provided a huge challenge to the drinks industry, which Spiritrade has been uniquely placed to help.
“It has been encouraging that since Covid-19 hit, we’ve had a lot of members and brand owners join our platform needing to find solutions to the problem of sitting on too much stock while the on-trade was shut to find buyers for that stock,” says Metta. “It’s been challenging to accommodate that while working tirelessly on the platform, but to cater for this demand and all this inventory, we really needed to up our game on the technology front. Our message is very clear: we are here to assist the trade to become a global marketplace and to make trading drinks more efficient.”
For more information on Spiritrade and its services, visit: spiritrade.com