A three-year-old local start-up, still in growth mode after its first two rounds of capital raising and allowing investors to buy stakes in its wine collection, has been recapitalized.
Richmond-based Vint recently closed a $5 million investment round. Co-founder Nick King said in an interview this week that the company plans to use the funds to further expand the team.
Vint currently has 12 employees, some of whom were hired during the ongoing equity round. The plan is to have a total of 16 to 18 people on board by the end of the year. Vint aims to fill a variety of roles, but King said it focuses on software developers.
One of the most recent hires is Adam Lapierre, who joined Vint in June as Director of Wine, and was already a member of the company’s Wine Investment Committee. Lapierre has a Master of Wine certification from his Institute of Masters of Wine in the UK and his job includes overseeing the growth of the company’s wine suppliers and his network.
Montage Ventures led the funding round. The California-based investment firm includes Goat Rodeo Capital, Fintech Ventures (which Vint led his $1.7 million pre-seed round announced in late 2021), Great Oaks Venture Capital, Plug & Play Ventures, irrvrntVC, Fiat Ventures, WTI participated. .
King estimates that funding from the latest round of funding will last Vint more than 24 months.
Vint closed the round in mid-October after issuing feelers to investors in the spring. The company was initially aiming for slightly less cash, but as a hedge against economic uncertainty, he decided to increase his initial target by $1 million more.
“Adding capital to the war chest and expanding the runway in this kind of environment. We were like, ‘We should oversubscribe this round,'” said King.
King feels the firm has succeeded in its endeavors because it offers investment assets that are disconnected from traditional investment markets, while economic uncertainty has made fundraising more difficult. Added.
“There is an element of uncorrelated assets in this business, and we believe the recessionary environment could be a tailwind for our business,” said King.
Vint is an online service that offers shares in wine collections that users can purchase as an investment. The company generates revenue through procurement fees and also buys shares in acquired collections.
The latest collection to sell out was a collection of 1,200 bottles of the 2021 Bordeaux en primeur worth $230,000. His 4,600 shares in the collection were sold at $50 per share. According to King, it was the best value Vint has ever offered in a collection.
Vint has returned revenue from the sale of all or part of six of the 45 collections it has made to date, King said.
The company now also offers wine futures, i.e. investments in wine that has been barreled but not yet bottled. This service was launched in the spring of last year. The Bordeaux collection is his third futures collection ever offered.
Whiskey investments are also on Vint’s menu, which has become a quarter of the company’s business since the introduction of whiskey products in late 2021.
Vint recently offered shares of one 78-year-old bottle of The Macallan whiskey worth $130,000. King said his 1,300 shares in the bottle sold for $100 a share and were all scooped up in just over 10 minutes.
Vint was founded by UVA alumni King and Patrick Sanders in 2019 and began serving investors in May 2021.
The company is based in Richmond, but has remote workers in locations like Baltimore, Austin, and Seattle.