Vivino, which raised a $25 million Series B in January 2016, has been building out its top management team to transition the company from a wine scanning app into a wine marketplace. With over 28 million users and 85 million wine reviews, Vivino is well positioned to become a major player in wine ecommerce by taking the uncertainty out of buying wine.
Vivino uses crowdsourced wine ratings rather than professional tasting notes in a similar way to Yelp’s model of using crowdsourced restaurant reviews. This allows them to have a much larger coverage of wines than Robert Parker and other professional wine reviewers. It is therefore not surprising that a large part of Vivino’s team share a background from Yelp.
Paul Cebulak joined Vivino as VP Sales in 2017 after 7 years at Yelp and a short stint at UpCounsel. Mr. Cebulak held a variety of sales and business development positions including launching Yelp in Melbourne, Australia. At Vivino, he oversees merchant partnerships where he is responsible for building out Vivino’s global network on online wine merchants. Vivino’s sales executives are based in Dublin and San Francisco.
John Moffett has the first executive hire after Vivino raised their Series B round of funding. Mr. Moffett joined as CFO from MyVest in January 2016 and was most notably the CFO of Digg from 2005 to 2010. Mr. Moffett oversees finance, legal, and compliance in a very complex regulatory environment for online alcohol sales.
Tomas Melian is the most recent addition to the management team joining from Pandora in November 2017. Mr. Melian was the VP of Subscriptions at the music streaming service running the subscription side of the business. In January, Vivino launched a monthly free shipping subscription similar to Amazon Prime where members get free shipping on all their wine orders.
The product team is led by CPO & co-Founder Theis Søndergaard who also oversees engineering, design, and data based in Copenhagen. Vivino has chosen to keep all product functions in Copenhagen while all the commercial functions are based in San Francisco.
Recent notable departures include Stephen Favrot who left to become VP Marketing at Mayvenn and Peter Ekman who left to become Chairman at Bounty Hunter Rare Wine & Spirits. Christian Wylonis left his position as COO of Vivino in January 2018 to become CEO & co-Founder of The Org and is currently writing a blog post for the site.
Vivino reached $40 million in sales according to a CNN Money article published in August 2017 but with the recent launch of Vivino Market and other growth initiatives they probably have significant higher sales than that.
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