Still in growth mode after its first two capital raises, a 3-year-old local startup that allows investors to buy shares of wine collections has filled its capital cup once again.
Richmond-based Vint recently completed a $5 million investment round. The company plans to put the funding toward further expansion of its team, co-founder Nick King said in an interview this week.
Vint currently has 12 employees, several of whom were hired while the equity round was in the works. The plan is to have a total of 16 to 18 people aboard by the end of the year. While Vint is looking to fill varied roles, King said software developers are an area of focus.
One of those recent hires was Adam Lapierre, who joined Vint as director of wine in June, though he was already a member of the company’s wine investment committee. Lapierre has a Master of Wine certification from The Institute of Masters of Wine in the United Kingdom and his job is to oversee the growth of the company’s wine suppliers network, among other tasks.
Montage Ventures led the fundraising round. The California-based investment firm was joined by Goat Rodeo Capital, Fintech Ventures (which led Vint’s pre-seed round of $1.7 million the company announced in late 2021), Great Oaks Venture Capital, Plug & Play Ventures, irrvrntVC, Fiat Ventures and WTI.
King estimated the funds from the latest raise would last Vint more than 24 months.
Vint closed on the round in mid-October, after putting out feelers for investors in the spring. The company originally shot for a slightly smaller amount of cash but decided to ramp up $1 million north of its initial goal as a hedge against economic uncertainty.
“Adding more capital to the war chest and extending the runway in this kind of environment. We were like, ‘Yeah we should oversubscribe this round,’” King said.
King added that while economic uncertainty made it more of a challenge to fundraise, he felt the company was successful in its efforts in part because it offers investment assets detached from traditional investment markets.
“I think there’s an element of this business, i.e. uncorrelated assets, that any recessionary environment could be a tailwind for our business,” King said.
Vint is an online service that offers shares of wine collections that can be bought by users as investments. The company generates revenue through sourcing fees and it also buys shares of the collections it acquires.
The most recent collection to sell out was a 1,200-bottle collection of 2021 Bordeaux En Primeur valued at $230,000. The collection’s 4,600 shares were sold at $50 a pop. King said the offering had the highest valuation yet of a collection offered by Vint.
Vint has returned proceeds from either the total or partial sale of six collections of the 45 offerings it has made to date, King said.
The company also is now offering investments in wine futures, or wine that has been barreled but not yet bottled. It’s a service it began to offer last spring. The Bordeaux collection was the third futures collection to be offered so far.
Whiskey investments are also on Vint’s menu and have come to make up a quarter of the company’s business since that product was introduced in late 2021.
Recently Vint offered shares of a single, 78-year-old bottle of The Macallan whisky valued at $130,000. King said the bottle’s 1,300 shares were sold at $100 each, and were all scooped up in a little over 10 minutes.
Vint was founded by King and Patrick Sanders, both UVA grads, in 2019 and opened its service to investors in May 2021.
While based in Richmond, the company has remote workers in places like Baltimore, Seattle, and Austin, Texas.