Winebuyers Header

Acquisition Opportunity

Hilco Streambank is seeking offers to acquire the business and assets of Winebuyers Limited (“Winebuyers” or the “Company”), an exclusive wine club and online marketplace.

BID DEADLINE EXTENDED

February 10, 2021 @ 4pm GMT (11am ET)

Hilco Streambank is delighted to have been appointed to actively seek interested parties in relation to the opportunity to acquire, or invest in, Winebuyers.

Launched in May 2018, the Company’s disruptive online wine & champagne club and e-commerce platform was conceived in response to the wine trade’s slow uptake of e-commerce. Winebuyers is fast becoming the largest online shop, providing access to an unrivalled collection of over 50,000 products sourced from over 40 countries. Buoyed by the growing popularity of the platform in the wine industry, the Company has recently extended its proposition into the lucrative spirits market.

Seeking to redefine the wine and spirits buying experience through the use of clever technology, Winebuyers.com connects vineyards, distilleries and specialist merchants directly to consumers. To date, the Company has operated a subscription-based business model, charging vineyards and merchants a recurring monthly subscription fee for access to Winebuyers’ sizeable community of wine lovers and enthusiasts. A variety of listing packages, from £100 per month, are offered to suppliers alongside further marketing add-ons. The Company does not currently charge a fee or commission to consumers on transactions conducted on the platform, enabling consumers to buy a wide array of products at a cheaper price point direct from the source through the convenient Winebuyers.com platform. Drop shipping arrangements reduce the Company’s operational costs and risk. The potential to generate further revenue via the introduction of a merchant fulfilment service and paid or prime memberships have been explored.

 

 

Significant investment has been made in building the Winebuyers brand and e-commerce platform. The Company has attracted upwards of £1m ($1.4m) in investment to date including from successful crowdfunding activity. Since its launch, Winebuyers.com has achieved month on month growth. The website has facilitated over £1m ($1.4m) in product sales in recent months and over 1 million bottles of wine were sold through Winebuyers.com in 2020.

Winebuyers has received extensive positive media coverage, fostered relationships with over 300 signed-up vineyards and merchants, and amassed a significant membership base.

This acquisition opportunity offers the buyer the unique opportunity to capitalise on both the acceleration of demand for online retail and growth in the wine and spirits markets. The value of the global wine market is estimated at $300b whilst the global spirits market is valued at over $500b, expected to reach over $700b by 2028.1 2020 was a strong year for wine e-commerce with one in seven drinkers using a specialist online wine retail site.2 In the UK in 2020 online sales of alcohol rose to 8.6% of total alcohol sales, up from 4.8% in 2019, reflecting the COVID-19 pandemic's acceleration of the shift to online shopping.3 UK online alcohol retailing industry revenue is forecast to increase at a compound annual rate of 5.2% over the next five years through to 2025-26, reaching £1 billion ($1.4b).4 Across twenty key markets, the total value of alcohol e-commerce is expected to exceed $40b by 2024.5 

wine

Available Assets

Winebuyers Brand

The Winebuyers brand is highly regarded in the UK, also sparking international attention from consumers across Europe and beyond.

Winebuyers has been featured prominently by various media outlets including Sky News, BBC’s The One Show, Forbes, and Cosmopolitan Magazine. Harper’s Bazaar hailed the brand as one of the “the best wine delivery services” available on the market. Similarly, Winebuyers was named The Telegraph’s Best Online Wine Shop in the UK 2020, praising the Company’s ethos and consumer-centric approach to connecting suppliers directly with wine lovers. Winebuyers was also nominated for Best Online Shop at the Drinks Business Awards 2019.

As a trusted e-commerce retailer, Winebuyers.com has achieved a Trust Pilot rating of 4.2, classed as “Great” based on over 400 reviews.

Winebuyers strives to distinguish itself from its competitors as the only provider in the marketplace that unifies the core propositions of high street merchants, online merchants and wine communities into one centralised online platform. Winebuyers’ goal is to redefine the wine buying process through the use of clever, innovative technology.

The Winebuyers brand and website have established a loyal customer following. Beyond a simple e-commerce store, Winebuyers places a strong emphasis on importance of customer engagement, expanding its membership base through planned events, competitions, social media influencers and newsletters. The Company has nurtured its consumer base through its online wine club positioning, providing regular blogs, monthly newsletters, special offers and recommendations by leading wine specialists who share their knowledge exclusively with the Winebuyers Club members.

E-Commerce Platform and Website Content

The Company owns copyright in the content of the sleek and attractive Winebuyers website, hosted at www.winebuyers.com. The Winebuyers website provides the Company’s route to market and is directly linked to revenue.

Winebuyers.com is the ultimate destination for the contemporary wine buyer, providing exclusive access to an unrivalled collection of wine and spirits products sourced from across the globe. The website features an appealing blog which provides users with insights on a range of pertinent wine-related topics such as grape varieties, regional variations and food and wine pairings.

The Company recognises there is huge potential for geographical expansion and to date has executed a Spanish conversion of the website.

From January to December 2020, the website accrued circa 2 million users and 4.6 million page views. A high proportion of traffic to the website is organic traffic or driven by email marketing activity.

The Winebuyers e-commerce platform works with open-source software, a lauded approach by technology developers in the industry, employing Sylius as its e-commerce framework. Sylius is a PHP framework built on top of Symfony that allows the Company to adapt every line of code to meet its requirements. The Company uses both SQL and non-SQL databases to ensure its data is protected and available at every moment with delivery times within a few milliseconds. The frontend of the platform is built in VueJS (a modern Javascript framework) and SCSS.

On the product listing functionality, Winebuyers derives information about products from its suppliers’ websites using a custom web scraper. The web scraper technology has the capability to rescrape sites every 0.3 seconds for live listing amends and stock levels. Unprecedented in the industry, Winebuyers’ advanced and proprietary API eliminates data entry, regular stock updates and associated data entry costs to wineries by integrating directly with merchants’ websites with real-time stock capture and aggregation. The Company’s technology was professionally developed over an 18 month period.

Winebuyers 1

Winebuyers 2

Domain Names

The Company has a portfolio of over 40 domain names. In addition to the primary, high-traffic winebuyers.com domain name, these include, for example, ginbuyers.com and spiritbuyers.com which will facilitate future expansion.

Social Media

A strong social media presence supports the Winebuyers brand and website:

Facebook - @winebuyersofficial c. 5.2k likes

Instagram - @winebuyers 3.5k followers

Twitter - @WinebuyersClub c. 2.3k followers

YouTube - Winebuyers 344 subscribers

Consumer Data

The Company holds customer data in relation to over 76,000 registered members achieved with minimal marketing spend.

Winebuyers’ distinguishes itself from other online wine marketplaces through its big data strategy. The Company captures and collates extensive information on users of the website including data points such as location, device, browser type and version as well as further information on areas including product searches, the user journey and referral links, providing valuable insight into consumers’ behaviour and preferences. Big data is used to build creative, effective and tailored marketing campaigns.

Supplier Data

The Company has established relationships with over 300 vineyards and merchants across the UK, Europe, the US and Asia. The Company has nurtured long-term relationships and has a low attrition rate. It benefits from recurring revenue generated from its current subscription-based model with vineyards and merchants paying a recurring monthly subscription fee for access to wine lovers and enthusiasts visiting the platform. Indicative of significant growth potential, the Company has recently seen over 100 applications a month submitted via a supplier sign up form on the Winebuyers.com website.

Tangible Assets

IT and office equipment

Sale Process

Offers are due February 10, 2021 @ 4PM GMT (11am ET)

Further information is available to qualified bidders on receipt of a duly signed non-disclosure and confidentiality agreement.

Please contact Hilco Streambank to obtain an NDA and for more information regarding the sale process. All expressions of interests and offers should be directed to Hilco Streambank in writing. A bid submission form for submitting offers is available.

Key Terms & Conditions

The bidder acknowledges that Hilco offer for sale only what right, title and interest (if any) the Company possesses in the assets. Such sale will be without warranties or guarantees. The information provided has not been verified by Hilco and bidders are deemed to have carried out their own due diligence.

VAT at 20% will be added to the price if applicable. A buyer’s premium of 10% applies to this sale. A non-refundable deposit of 20% will be payable by the buyer within 48 hours of bid acceptance. Legal completion to occur within 5 business days of bid acceptance. Hilco Streambank's full Terms and Conditions apply. 

Contact Us

For further information about the sales process please contact the following Hilco Streambank representatives:

Interested Parties

Hilco Global will only use data you have agreed to share with us. You have the ability to view, change and delete data at any time upon request. Please view our privacy policy.

References

1Source: Inkwood Research

2Source: Wine Intelligence: UK Wine Landscapes 2021 December 2021

3Source: IWSR Drinks Market Analysis

4Source: IBIS Report: Online Alcohol Retailing in the UK UK0.018

5Source: IWSR Drinks Market Analysis