Personalized Wine Recommendation Website Club W Joins LA Startup Accelerator Amplify to Increase Reach and Manage Rapid Growth

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Amplify extends guidance to startups beyond the product-market fit stage who are generating real revenue.

Amplify

Over the last three months revenues have more than tripled and we are now on track for $2 million in annualized revenue. ~Club W Co-Founder Geoff McFarlane

Online wine community Club W and Los Angeles-based startup accelerator Amplify announced a strategic partnership today that will allow both organizations to further capitalize on Club W’s rapid growth and provide Club W with the resources to keep up with stronger-than-anticipated consumer demand.

Club W has been on our radar for a while now and after a period of due diligence and watching them outperform our expectations we are thrilled to bring them into the Amplify umbrella and begin working closely with them,” says Paul Bricault, Managing Partner at Amplify.

With the Club W investment, Amplify is departing a bit from traditional accelerator activities that mainly include seed capital, office space and mentorship.

“We’ve seen an increase in demand from mature startups like Club W looking for guidance in navigating early success,” continued Bricault. “Our original model had us investing in much more nascent businesses, but with LA’s burgeoning startup ecosystem we’re able to provide a lot of value to startups that are past the product-market fit stage and are generating real revenue like Club W.”

“Over the last three months revenues have more than tripled and we are now on track for $2 million in annualized revenue,” says Club W Co-Founder Geoff McFarlane.

The domestic wine market is a $34 billion industry and the fastest growing consumer segment within the market are Millenials – consumers in the 21-35 range. While 10% of retail sales in most industries take place online, only 1% of wine transactions currently take place online. “As it relates to younger, more value conscious consumers, this market is so radically underserved online that Club W has amazing potential,” says Bricault, who now serves on the Club W Board of Directors.

“We see Amplify as a partner not just an investor. Their experienced team of entrepreneurs and mentors along with an extensive investor reach will help ensure we don’t become victims of our own success,” says co-founder Xander Oxman. “We are growing so quickly and recognized that having a partner like Amplify to help us manage that growth would be the smartest way to sustain and accelerate it.”

“This month we are going to ship somewhere in the neighborhood of 40,000 bottles of wine to consumers,” says McFarlane. “This kind of volume is impressive but more importantly is helping us to reach economies of scale that significantly improve our margins. For example, now we can take advantage of more efficient shipping strategies and discounted shipping rates because of our volume.”

“The timing of joining Amplify is really exciting,” says Club W co-founder Mark Lynn. “Here we are reaching all of these milestones where economies of scale are improving margins – whether it be in shipping, packaging or our newly-implemented API for vendors – and then we add Amplify’s support and the synergies become exponential.”

At the same time as this rapid growth is taking place, Club W’s core consumers remain steady. Excluding gifts and other one-time purchases, the monthly subscriber attrition remains is in the 3– 4% range. The average number of bottles has also grown to nearly five bottles per shipment. Both metrics are strong indicators that once a customer is acquired they are likely to stay on board and spend more with Club W over time.

“Hey, it’s not just our customers and Amplify that are showing us the love,” says Oxman, referring to all of the national press coverage the company is receiving including Fox News, The Today Show, TechCrunch and Good Housekeeping.

“While all of this attention is great,” says Lynn, “we remain hungry and aren’t going to let our foot off the gas pedal. There are a lot of bottles of wine we can choose from to toast our success but there are lots more bottles of wine to be sold before we are ready to do that.”

About Club W
Founded in 2011 by Mark Lynn, Geoff McFarlane and Xander Oxman, Club W is an online community of wine enthusiasts committed to taking the hassle, guesswork and pretentiousness out of enjoying a great bottle of wine at a reasonable price. Monthly Experiences start at $39 for three bottles. The company has 11 employees with offices Los Angeles, San Francisco, CA and Denver, CO. Visit http://www.clubw.com to learn more.

About Amplify
Based in Los Angeles, California’s historic Venice Beach, Amplify.LA is a hands-on startup accelerator designed to help members amplify their companies for success. The program operates from a 10,000 square foot entrepreneurial campus originally designed by renowned architect, Steven Ehrlich. Amplify.LA’s investors, mentors and management include some of the most connected names in media and entertainment. To learn more, please visit http://www.amplify.la.

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Amanda Coolong
Amplify
310.400.0365
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Ari Tye Radetksy
Club W
303.668.2345
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