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Wine platform Crurated raises US$7.2 million to expand reach

London-based fine wine club Crurated has raised US$7.2 million from private investment to evolve its tech platform, reach into new markets and expand the partnerships with winemakers beyond its French and Italian heartlands.

The membership digital fine club was launched onto the market in May 2021 sourcing its wines directly from some of France and Italy’s top cellars and providing information and provenance details backed up by blockchain technology. In April it raised €3m to expand the platform to boost its blockchain and NFT technology, saying it was looking to expand the company’s reach into Tuscany, Piedmont, and the Rhône.

The new cash injection has come from a mixture those who have already invested in Crurated as well as a new group of private investors, a spokesperson confirmed to db.

It is now eyeing up growth from producers outside France and Italy, it said and although it hasn’t identified which regions, a spokesperson told db that some more “great names from other regions” would be added this year. However, the number is expected to remain relatively limited (currently it works with more than 60 producers in total) in order to maintain the company’s “focus on exclusivity”, the  spokesman said.

There will be efforts to expand its geographic reach and grow the reach it already has in existing markets. “The US, China, Singapore, France, Italy, and the UK are very strong markets for Crurated,” they added.

Founder Alfonso de Gaetano  said the last year had been “both innovative and successful” for both the Crurated team and the producers they have partnered with.

“In addition to becoming the first wine community to offer fractional barrel sales backed by NFT technology, we signed an exclusive distribution deal with Charles Lachaux, grew our roster of producers to more than 60, and have attracted a younger demographic of oenophiles onto the platform,” he said.

The company argues that partnering with established producers and selling via fractional barrel, in addition to traditional lot purchases/auctions, appeals to this younger demographic, with strong demand causing it to sell out in some of it fractional auctions within hours. It argues that selling this way not only secures members the allocation, but means they can choose the format and also customise the labels.

Currently it reports that around 70% of its membership base is below the age of 45, with around a third (35%) of those members under the age of 35 – bucking the trend that sees fine wine investors traditionally skew invested in by those aged 45 or over.

The company saw revenues up 214% in the first half of its second year of trading, compared to the previous year, with membership up by 180% over the same period, and 400% year-to-date.

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