Wine Searcher as a Tech Startup

Tom Wark has an interesting thought starter about Wine Searcher.

Apparently they are looking to raise capital. But for what?

WSPro is a tool that I literally use every day (it, Wine Berserkers and CT are my core). I assume that it’s a pretty important tool for many of us here. Clearly the last few years they have added features to their core search as well as built out a media business (all the news and other tools). They seem to have added wine business analytics capabilities but as a consumer user I don’t have visibility into whether that’s a business or how successful it is.

But clearly being the ‘Google of Wine’ would be valuable. What do folks here think? Which parts of the W-S business do you love or hate? Where do you think they have the most potential for (revenue) growth? What corporate combinations (which seem inevitable) would be awesome or terrible? CT and W-S are already nicely integrated. But I would guess that integrating their data would unlock value for somebody, though it might be hard to monetize.

I’m guessing their biggest opportunity by far is still in selling data to large wine and spirits makers and stores so they better know how to market and craft products that sell.

If more people were like us, I could see them taking a stab at expanding on something like what Domaine does with shipping and storage. W-S would have a much more direct way to solicit new customers, has the knowledge of where to place new locations, and could prioritize their shipping partner stores in searches (or encourage subscribers to filter by W-S partners). They could essentially offer shipping as a service (baked into vendor sites) for companies that want to be online but don’t want to manage and negotiate how shipping works or the legalities of shipping to/from certain jurisdictions, etc. If they tied it into a developed network of wine storage locations, they could also directly ship wine between “your” storage locations and/or allow for remote “local” storage (rem-lo-sto would be the Silicon Valley speak). An annual shipping subscription would be an additional source of income if they go the Amazon route (not necessarily free, but at least attractively reduced shipping with W-S partners), and the storage would be an additional fee (perhaps a combo of more transient bottle pricing and longer term pricing). Lots of stuff that would probably be too expensive to reasonably offer to enough people to make the scale worth it, but there are definitely some variations of the above that are possible.

If you mean facilitating international shipping, I could definitely see that

Given how many eyeballs are on the site, there is probably a lot of untapped potential.

i want to know how much of their inbound traffic is from google.

Wine-Searcher is top 1% of 1%, and Wine-Searcher Pro is top 1% of 1% of 1%.

Vivino is the 800-lb gorilla of the middle-brow market.

If I were Wine-Searcher, looking for an upgrade, then I’d be thinking something very exclusive, along the lines of a Sothebys/Christies/Cartier valet experience.

I have no idea how I’d pull that off, but I’d be looking to figure out a way to make permanent my claim to the high end of the market, and let Vivino own the middle-brow.

Another obvious solution would be to throw a ton of money at the problem, and purchase CT & WS & VV, and become a monopoly.

But that’s not a particularly elegant solution.

Any idiot billionaire could do that.

Would have to see volumes of eyes before you could make a call on this.

Bigger question may be - What is Wine Searchers’ core competency? What does it do better than Vivino and the others? The community is somewhat worthwhile but seems to be a smaller number, albeit more wine adept, than the others. There is a ton of data but not sure who is that willing to pay for it.

Not sure this is the thread for it, but what are the best wine asset databases? From my seat, Wine Searcher actually seems to be quite good and has options for external consumption. CellarTracker is closed off and wont give out asset info. Vivino’s data looks good on surface but they wont open it up to the masses either. But Wine Folly’s new Global Wine Database looks promising. No doubt, this space is prime for disruption but feels quite old school compared to other industires.

im picturing a Uber for wine kind of deal.

Is this a change to their site or had I never noticed it before? I don’t use them that often and it seems like an odd way to try to monetize.
Wine Searcher Screen Shot.jpg

It has always worked this way. People who pay get access to the full market and people who use the free version get access only to the other side of the market that pays.

Thanks. They don’t integrate with any of the wine shops in my state so my use is sporadic at best.

Hi Eric, pm with the names of any favorite shops you have and if they have an online list, we’ll try and pick the latest prices up each night.

Hi Joe, Full marks. Thanks.
Wine-Searcher PRO accounts can see price lists from all wine shops, liquor stores, and producers - worldwide - that are listed on Wine-searcher. We’re adding - and removing - stores on a daily basis.
Free accounts see prices only from shops with sponsored lists - unless of course, no store with a sponsored list stocks the particular wine or spirit you are searching for. In this case we instantly auto-expand the search to include other (non-sponsored) price lists in the results as well.

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