​Vinomofo secures AU$25m from Blue Sky Venture Capital

Online retailer Vinomofo has secured its first capital raising, which it plans to use to further fund domestic growth and support global operations.

Australian online wine retailer Vinomofo has secured AU$25 million in financing from Blue Sky Venture Capital to further fund the domestic growth of the business, and support operations in new markets.

This is the company's first capital raising after launching operations in Australia five years ago.

The business also recently rolled out a "lite" version of its model into six new markets including New Zealand, the United States, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Hong Kong, and China. The lite version of Vinomofo has been focused on hosting pop-up-style sale events online for 24 to 48 hour periods selling a limited number of wines.

Speaking to ZDNet, Vinomofo co-founder and joint-CEO Andre Eikmeier said the funding will help the company further scale the business both locally and internationally.

"We've got a decent amount of traction in Australia but there are still so many people who just don't know about it. Generally when people know about us they like us, and so we thought let's do a big national campaign to really say: 'Hi. We're here, nice to meet you'," he said.

"Part of it will be able to further tap in a new market that is showing traction. It could also be investing in targeted digital marketing to build the audience even before we enter in those new markets, or invest in new stock. But the main thing is if we see good traction it means we don't have to slow down; we've got the reserve to really capitalise on that traction in the new market."

Eikmeier added that when Vinomofo was partially owned by Catch of the Day back in 2012, the company realised how much it valued independence, and wanted to make sure its next partner was going to align with the company's targets.

"We've reached that point of confidence that Vinomofo was going to be this good wine experience for people in Australia and around the world. We realised that's going to need some help; it's one of things to grow 100 percent year-on-year unassisted for the first five years," he said.

"I think we saw that we were holding ourselves back by not being able to be more aggressive marketing-wise. When we started our global expansion, although it's a 'lite' version -- and one that we're able to do and fund ourselves because it's a low investment -- as soon as we started to see traction we think it's helpful to be able to reach those faster."

At the time of ownership by Catch of the Day, the online retailer was caught up in a security debacle when its website was hacked in early 2011, compromising passwords and credit cards. However, at the time Vinomofo confirmed it was unaffected by the breach.