This Company Combines Virtual Events and Craft Wine Tasting for Huge Brands
So, no podcast this week — I was too locked in on Pomp vs Darren Rovell in Bitcoin Face-off Part 1. As you all know, I invest in Bitcoin (crypto in general), but not because I’m a believer, I just like volatility. My friend Darren Rovell has similar tastes, but Bitcoin isn’t one of them — we frequently debate the topic, in-particular the stupid parts — like how all Bitcoin’ers and shitcoin’ers feel the constant need to shill their HODL position (ohhhh, and how the entire narrative REEKS of a Ponzi scheme). Anyways, Darren challenged one of the most famous maximalists out there, Anthony Pompliano aka Pomp… and the rest is internet history! (skip to the last 45 minutes for the goodies).
Today’s pitch review is especially dandy. It’s a company that combines wine tasting and virtual events — having hosted some 300 events in my life, I usually run as far away from event businesses as I can. Mostly, because the corporate event business is HARD! And, doing it virtual is even harder… keeping people’s attention is a massive struggle, and consistently doing so is next to impossible! But, this company has found a way that even I cannot ignore.
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Vin Social is a corporate virtual events and eCommerce platform featuring craft wine & spirits experiences.
Imagine doing a wine tasting from home? That’s what Vin Social creates, at least for the consumers, it’s a shipped craft wine that you will drink and discuss pairings etc. while networking at virtual corporate events — which is brilliant. For the vineyards its incredible distribution and exposure. For companies, it keeps people coming back for more. For Vin Social it’s a super high margin business.
Meet the Founder
Watch my full interview with Vin Social Founder Sara Moll here.
Sara is a Certified Sommelier. She’s a former creative director in the NY fashion industry turned wine and events executive. Prior to founding Vin Social, Sara worked in multiple facets of the wine industry from wholesale and retail sales to event production.
Sara is a wine expert that has spent her entire career in events, wine and creative. She has the exact combo of skills needed for this business — yet to be seen is can she lead a startup. But, given the early traction and how quickly she and the Vin team captured market-share during Covid would suggest she is.
Over $1 Million generated in revenue in FY 2020 (Year 1)
Our gross profitability is 77%
Our primary source of revenue is recurring business from current clients (over 50%)
Each paid event generates 1.5 new client leads on average
Clients include: Salesforce, Cisco, Adweek, Verizon, Univision, Amazon, and many more
We are first-movers in a new, fast growing $78 Billion industry projected to 10x by 2030
We are a woman-founded and led company that is committed to supporting and prioritizing diversity
Okkkk, so, Vin Social did a million in revenue (profitably) in its first year. Furthermore, its clients already include some major hitters; Salesforce, Amazon and Verizon. There’s really nothing more a company can do to prove itself right out the gates… The real question becomes do you believe the chart? Will virtual events actually be the future? Or was Covid an aberration and once life returns to normal will virtual become a nice-to-have?
Terms & Takeaway
Invest in Vin Social here 👉 Term Sheet
Security Type: Reg CF
Pre-Money Valuation: $7,000,000
Investment Goal: $1,070,000
Raised (as of publishing): $262,451
Minimum Investment: $100.00
Here's what I like: I HATE EVENT BUSINESSES. But, I absolutely love this one! Not only is it super high margin, but the stickiness is crazy good. As a subscriber to Winestyr (tbh I’m drinking a bottle of small batch blanco from Winestyr as I type this) and attendee of no less than 30 corp wine tasting type events, I can truly say it never gets old — good wine, bad wine, fun people, weirdos… it’s always good times.
Here's what I don't love: If I had to nitpick, I will always fear the shelf life for brands. It’s not unlike sponsorship; it always starts out hot then fades as the sales team take over. Additionally, you cannot ignore the uncertainty around virtual events post-pandemic. Though, personally, I 100% believe virtual events will be a massive part of business — whether its creating culture within a hybrid workforce or entertaining clients remotely. Either way, Vin brings a little bit of IRL to the virtual world which is a nice hedge. That said, if you don’t buy a virtual world (don’t tell Facebook and all the VCs dumping money into VR 🤫) I cannot blame you and it would obviously be a big reason to be skeptical of Vin Social’s early success.
Who should invest and why: If you like wine and events this is a no brainer. If you are like me and truly believe in the metaverse — a world where we spend a large portion in a virtual, VR or augmented world — then Vin Social should align. If you think virtual sucks and you have zero interest in screen time, probably an easy pass for you. With all that said, a $7M value cap for a business that did $1M in year 1 sales, with eye popping margins might still be worth a gamble.
As always, startup investing is super high risk, anything can happen.
Invest in Vin Social here 👉 Term Sheet
Questions? DM me on Twitter @kitun