Danish wine app secures massive investment

Developers of Vivino, an app that helps users find out more about the wines they are drinking, will use the 60 million kroner investment to break into the American market

A Copenhagen-based startup has secured 60 million kroner of investment this week for its wine app for mobile phones.

Vivino allows users to scan wine labels using their mobile phone camera. The app then identifies the wine using its online database of around 500,000 wines and provides the user with more information about the wine, such as its origin, cost and online reviews.

It also functions as a social network by connecting users, allowing them to share their experience of wines, and storing scanned wines in user profiles for later reference.

The investment is the largest ever for a wine app, according to the thenextweb.com, and will be used to secure more users.

 “[The money] will help us expand out into the world,” Vivino founder Heini Zachariassen told financial daily Børsen. “The market in the USA is the fastest growing for us right now. To enter we need to have a lot of capital.”

He told Børsen that the internet film database IMDB inspired the app.

“I don’t know very much about wine but I was fascinated by IMDB. I wondered if there was a proper online wine database where I can find information about wine. There wasn’t so I started working on it.”

According to Børsen it has 1.5 million users around the world and around two million labels are scanned every month.

Zachariassen started working on the app in 2009 and has since racked up about six million kroner of debt. He argues, however, that getting the app onto as many phones as possible is the best strategy for the company to take.

“We have decided with our investors to focus on amassing millions of users," Zachariassen told Børsen. "We could also have decided to commercialise it earlier but I think that would be more interesting once we have 10, 20, 30 or 40 million users.”

Vivino investors include Skype founder Janus Friis, Balderton Capital, Seed Capital as well as Stockholm-based Creandum who invested around six million kroner last December.

"Vivino has all the characteristics of a great investment: seasoned team, innovative technology, elegant product, viable business model, and a very large market ripe for disruption," Creandum general partner and Vivino board member Martin Hauge wrote in a press release at the time. "In short order Vivino has become the fastest growing wine app in the world, and we believe it has the potential to change wine ecommerce forever.”

  • How internationals can benefit from joining trade unions

    How internationals can benefit from joining trade unions

    Being part of a trade union is a long-established norm for Danes. But many internationals do not join unions – instead enduring workers’ rights violations. Find out how joining a union could benefit you, and how to go about it.

  • Internationals in Denmark rarely join a trade union

    Internationals in Denmark rarely join a trade union

    Internationals are overrepresented in the lowest-paid fields of agriculture, transport, cleaning, hotels and restaurants, and construction – industries that classically lack collective agreements. A new analysis from the Workers’ Union’s Business Council suggests that internationals rarely join trade unions – but if they did, it would generate better industry standards.

  • Novo Nordisk overtakes LEGO as the most desirable future workplace amongst university students

    Novo Nordisk overtakes LEGO as the most desirable future workplace amongst university students

    The numbers are especially striking amongst the 3,477 business and economics students polled, of whom 31 percent elected Novo Nordisk as their favorite, compared with 20 percent last year.