With in-person drinking and dining in flux, many consumers are redirecting their dollars toward takeout and delivery. As a result, venture capitalists are circling beverage alcohol tech brands as the digital booze field continues to expand.
Case in point: SevenFifty has announced $23 million in new funding.
The company attracted this round of investment following a period of nearly 100% year-over-year growth. SevenFifty reached just under $1 million in sales volume over 2020.
SevenFifty provides mobile and web-based technology solutions across three tiers of the beverage alcohol industry, connecting buyers, distributors and retailers via a suite of integrated data management tools.
Launched in 2011 by founders Aaron Sherman and Gianfranco Verga, the company’s aim is to bring the largely fragmented North American spirits supply chain onto a centralized platform—an online wholesale marketplace for all things alcohol.
Over 90,000 restaurant and retail buyers—including Skurnik, Momofuku, Kermit Lynch and Winebow—currently use SevenFifty’s marketplace, making it the largest B2B wholesale alcohol marketplace in the alcohol space.
As drinkers shifted online, the pandemic heated up the digital drinks space.
Over 2020, Drizly experienced “significant growth,” according to Axios, expanding more than 330% over the year. Uber’s stock price rose more than 9% following the announcement.
Vivino, a mobile wine rating app and online wine marketplace, closed a $155m round of Series D funding. In 2019, the platform sold $131 million worth of wine. That number doubled in 2020 as Vivino saw sales soar to $265 million.
Late last year, Wine.com embarked on a funding round of between $50 million to $75 million, valuing the Goldman-backed online retailer at over $1 billion.
While these moves are big for the digital space, it’s worth noting that before the pandemic, the alcohol industry was slow to adapt to the e-commerce world. As the coronavirus began spreading across the U.S. earlier this year, total e-commerce penetration experienced 10 years of growth in just three months (March — May), according to Drizly.
SevenFifty was one of the first adopters of technology in the alcohol space, quickly establishing itself as the leading software solutions for the US alcohol supply chain almost a full decade before the pandemic made e-commerce an essential.
SevenFifty’s new funding, largely backed by Level Equity, will help the business expand software and data services. The company also has immediate plans to hire across engineering, customer support, sales and marketing.
“We have been impressed by SevenFifty’s ability to expand its footprint over the past few years, growing the value of the platform beyond just restaurant and retail buyers and earning the trust of producers, importers, and distributors working across the trade,” said Ben Levin, Founder and Co-CEO of Level Equity, who will join SevenFifty’s board of directors. “The company stands out for its industry-specific deep technology solutions and superior, specialized dataset that powers a dynamic suite of products and services.”
Co-founder Sherman notes, “SevenFifty’s mission is to power a connected beverage alcohol supply chain, and with this new funding we unlock the capacity to accelerate our growth and meet the demands of our partners across every category of the industry.”