Our latest recommendation is exciting for a number of reasons. First, you’ll be investing alongside Barbara Corcoran from ABC’s Shark Tank. Barbara’s a real estate mogul who has migrated to startup investing, and happens to be my favorite of the “Sharks” who invest in startups on their top-rated TV show every week.
We’re going to keep things brief with this recommendation, as time is short. This is one of the most promising deals we’ve recommended so far, and we expect it to fill up fast.
The company is Underground Cellar. Its customers are wine enthusiasts.
Underground Cellar (UC) features a limited number of expertly picked wine deals per day. You can either have the bottles delivered to your door, or collect them in a secure, temperature-controlled warehouse in Napa Valley.
Storing wine at UC is free, and you can simply pick and choose which bottles to have shipped to you at any time, with 6 to 11 bottles shipping for only $5, and 12 or more bottles shipping for free. This is surprisingly a profit driver for the company; by aggregating purchases together from multiple wineries the shipping cost can be spread across multiple parties.
One of the most attractive features of this clever new wine marketplace is that buyers typically have half or more of their bottles randomly swapped out for free to limited-edition, rare vintage, and large-format autographed bottles. Chances for each upgrade are transparently shown prior to checkout, and the bottles “won” are instantly shown after paying.
The site has not only attracted a die-hard following of over 50,000 members, but the model solves a big problem plaguing the wine industry: the harm done to winery brands, reputations and pricing structures when they are forced to flood their wine to market at deep discounts. Unlike the countless “deep discount” sites that help wineries move inventory in a pinch by slashing prices, Underground Cellar takes a different approach through these randomized swap-outs of purchased bottles to more premium wines.
Not only does this provide a fun new way for wine consumers to experience high-end wines they might not otherwise purchase or even have access to, but by never using discounts, wineries can also quickly move inventory without jeopardizing their brands, reputations and pricing structures.
It’s a very tempting proposal for wine enthusiasts. If you’re considering investing, do go through the checkout process yourself. It’s important to test out the product you’re investing in, and in this case, it involves a free $50 coupon courtesy of Underground Cellar CEO Jeffrey Shaw. Simply enter code “INVEST50” at checkout.
It’s an elegant business model, for all the parties involved.
To sum things up, this is a deal we like for the following reasons:
- Very strong team. Good marketing, web presence and network. The CEO’s ambition seems boundless, always a good sign.
- 32% average month-over-month growth since launch in April.
- Co-investors: Barbara Corcoran as the lead investor in this deal brings immeasurable value. I expect more top-notch investors to emerge once the round goes live.
- Traction is impressive, with significant revenue already (rare for a $5 million company raising money).
- Attracts affluent customers who buy on the Web.
- Expansion potential – this technology platform has been designed to be easily rolled out into other luxury verticals.
To invest in Underground Cellar, just click the link below:
You’ll need to register with AngelList if you haven’t yet. Then click on the blue “invest” button, and complete the steps online. It’s secure, and shouldn’t take longer than 5 minutes.
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