Wine.com – Profile
HQ: San Francisco
Management: Chairman is Chris Kitze, who made a mint from the sale of Zoom during the bubble and became CEO of failed NBCi. In June 2004, company named George Garrick President & CEO. Garrick was CEO of PlaceWare for a year, which he sold to Microsoft for $200M. Before that, he was CEO of Flycast Communications, taking it from startup to a $500M IPO a year later.
Investors: Company closed $20M Series F in September 2004. Latest round of investors are Baker Capital (Lead), Rojasi Venture Group, as well as angel investors. Series D was a $9M round in July 2002. Current company represents mergers of Wine.com, eVineyard, AKA Gourmet and WineShopper.com. Before the company went bankrupt in 2002, it had burned through $214M in funding and laid off 250 employees. Assets were bought for just $5M in 2001.
Business Model: Currently licensed to sell wine in 31 states and Japan. Now focused more on corporate market and gifts.
Competitors: Winebid, 1-800WineShop.
Dirt: Previous CEO Peter Ekman said he had enough money to see Wine.com to an IPO in 2004. He said he hoped for a $1.5M profit during the fourth quarter annual sales of more than $60M in 2004. Indeed Wine.com has made a remarkable recoverey after having gone through three permutations in as many years, and was close to bankruptcy as recently as 2002.