CAMBRIDGE, MA -- (Marketwired) -- 06/20/13 -- Redstar Ventures, the Boston-based venture foundry, today announced the launch of Vinely, a wine club for the Internet age that makes the process of discovering new wine fun, easy and personalized. Vinely takes the guesswork out of wine selection by combining the relaxed, social nature of a wine tasting with the convenience of the mobile web to deliver members' preferences right to their doorsteps.
Vinely's software brings together wine chemistry analysis and matching algorithms to help members better understand which wines they prefer, and which other ones they are likely to enjoy. By establishing and continuously improving the user's wine preference profile, Vinely is able to continue to suggest and deliver wines to members that not only suit their tastes, but also their budgets.
Driven by Market Research and Technology, Vinely Disrupts a $34 Billion Industry
Vinely is the second operating company to be officially launched by Redstar Ventures, and the idea for the business grew out of the venture foundry's market-driven approach to creating companies. The Redstar team invested deeper research into its stated themes of underemployment and the growth of direct sales and peer-to-peer marketing to determine a market that offered large-scale, long-term opportunities for new business development.
The $34.6 billion U.S. wine industry offered such an opportunity, with wine clubs experiencing 29% growth in sales in 2011 and 62% projected growth for direct-to-consumer sales in 2012. In addition, a rapidly changing legal environment in the U.S. regulating the wine industry also provided a promising backdrop. The wine industry, however, is one of the largest industries that has not been significantly disrupted or enhanced by the Internet, operating roughly the same way since Prohibition.
"What Amazon did to bookstores, and Netflix did to rental stores, we at Vinely expect someone to do to wine," said Joe Chung, managing director, Redstar Ventures. "We want to make wine shopping fun and prevent people from becoming overwhelmed or frustrated by search. Vinely delivers a highly personalized experience that makes the individual the expert -- right from the comfort of their own home."
Vinely is led by CEO Bill Wittenberg, a serial entrepreneur with more than 30 years of experience as a software technology executive. He has worked for a total of six start-ups, four of which he founded, and Vinely is his fourth company after Humongous Media. Wittenberg is a natural fit to lead Redstar's latest venture following his previous successful experience working with Art Technology Group (ATG) co-founders Jeet Singh and Joe Chung, now founders and managing directors at Redstar Ventures.
"The wine market presents an enormous opportunity to create and scale new business ideas, and Vinely has a real ability to shape how the industry innovates and evolves," said Bill Wittenberg, CEO, Vinely. "As an entrepreneur, it has been especially rewarding for me to create a company in a market poised for growth and ripe for disruption, and also backed by a true co-founding relationship with Redstar. The model holds significant promise for the future of venture development and how successful companies can be created."
Wittenberg co-founded Humongous Media in 2010, a company that created videos to explain how to use consumer electronics for customers including Amazon, Ford, Cisco, Panasonic, Intel and Microsoft. Previously he served as co-founder and CTO of Maven Networks, a video publishing platform funded by VC firms General Catalyst, Accel Partners, and Prism Ventures, and acquired by Yahoo for $160 million in 2008. As senior vice president of Engineering at ATG (later acquired by Oracle), Wittenberg led the company's engineering, design and support organization. During his tenure, the company grew from 12 employees to 1,200 and went public, eventually attaining a market capitalization of over $6 billion.
Developed in Massachusetts, Vinely has been in operations and testing since 2012. With a strong brand, technology and management team in place, and bolstered by finance, legal and HR infrastructure, the Company is looking to grow its presence in California throughout 2013.
Vinely is a new approach to buying and drinking wine. As a wine club for the Internet age, Vinely makes discovering new wines fun, easy, convenient and personalized, opening up the world of wine to everyone. Using wine chemistry analysis and sophisticated technology, Vinely makes you the expert and matches your taste preferences to a wine "personality" so that you receive wines you love whenever you want. More information can be found at www.vinely.com.
About Redstar Ventures:
Redstar Ventures is a neither an incubator, nor a venture capital firm. We are a "venture foundry" that takes a top-down approach to building companies. Our model is based on identifying significant trends and growing markets, then developing potential products and services for those markets. From there, we find the right staff, partnerships, and sources of investment to launch the enterprise. We were founded in 2012 by ATG co-founders Jeet Singh and Joe Chung, and Matt Beecher of SCS Financial, and are grounded in the belief that channeling an entrepreneur's creativity and energy towards fields where fundability, growth and exit potential are high increases their chances of success.
For more details, please contact:
PR Contact for Redstar Ventures
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