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Full Glass Wine raises $14M to continue DTC marketplaces spree, buys Bright Cellars

Full Glass Wine, a brand acquisition management startup that specializes in acquiring wine marketplaces, has raised a $14 million Series A round to continue acquiring DTC (direct-to-consumer) wine marketplaces, aiming to lead the DTC wine market. 

DTC wine brands sell wine directly to wine lovers, bypassing traditional distribution channels

Full Glass Wine recently acquired Bright Cellars, a subscription-based wine service provider in Wisconsin, for an undisclosed price. The deal is its third acquisition in a year and will enable the startup to expand its subscription-based model. Previous acquisitions include Winc, a DTC wine platform that offers personalized recommendations and a subscription service, in June 2023; and Wine Insiders, a marketplace that curates a selection of high-quality wines from around the world at accessible prices, in October 2023.

"By uniting Winc, Wine Insiders, and Bright Cellars, we offer a one-stop shop for all things wine, catering to a wider range of wine drinkers than most traditional retailers, grocers, or single-brand DTC companies," Neha Kumar, co-founder and COO of Full Glass Wine, told TechCrunch. “This comprehensive portfolio allows the company to optimize logistics for efficient delivery and leverage the power of established brands to create a powerful marketing platform.”

The company also intends to invest more in technology with the new capital. “Bright Cellars, our most recent acquisition, has developed a wine-pairing algorithm that learns from user preferences and ratings. This approach, similar to how platforms like Spotify and Netflix personalize content recommendations, allows us to create a more tailored experience for each customer,” Kumar said. “Our goal is to leverage data and AI to make personalized wine recommendations even more accurate and insightful, ensuring every customer discovers and enjoys wines they truly love.”

The DTC wine industry is brimming with potential but one of the hurdles is navigating the complex web of regulations across different states, according to Kumar.

“Ensuring a seamless customer experience, from discovery to delivery, requires constant innovation and focus,” she continued. “However, there are also some misconceptions consumers might have about DTC wine. Concerns about quality are addressed through partnerships with reputable vineyards and rigorous selection processes. Value is a consideration but we offer a range of price points to cater to diverse budgets. Perhaps the biggest challenge is the initial discovery process — finding the right wines can feel overwhelming. That’s where personalization comes in — we leverage data and technology to help consumers discover wines they’ll truly love.”

Full Glass Wine CEO Louis Amoroso and COO Neha Kumar. Image Credits: Full Glass Wine

Co-founded in 2023 by Louis Amoroso (CEO), a serial entrepreneur in the wine industry and former partner at Goose Island Beer Company, and Kumar (COO), a former managing director at New Money Ventures, the startup is open to exploring partnerships with businesses to expand its platform’s reach and offerings.

“It could involve collaborations with wineries, food delivery services, or event planners to create unique experiences for its customers directly within the platform,” Kumar continued.

The company is still working through the integration process to ensure a smooth transition for everyone involved after the recent acquisition.

“We’re looking at a total of at least a few dozen employees now at Full Glass Wine,” Kumar said. “There will be significant growth on our team, which [will] strengthen our combined expertise and allow us to offer a wider range of services to our customers.”

The startup did not provide the number of subscribers it has but said the acquisitions will help it generate more than $100 million in revenue in 2024. It plans to offer a diverse selection of over 400 SKUs and an accessible price range for customers; most bottles range from $12 to $25.

Shea Ventures led the Series A funding.