Andre Eikmeier, 43, Justin Dry, 38
- Head office
- Year founded
Retail and consumer products
Founded in 2011 by Andre Eikmeier and Justin Dry, Vinomofo has consistently found itself in the Smart50.
While dropping down from being ranked 22 last year, the Vinomofo is still growing strongly, with revenue almost doubling in the past 12 months and 20 new employees joining the business.
Dry and Eikmeier founded Vinomofo with less than $25,000 and, while the business did hit the $1 million revenue mark in the first six months, Eikmeirer says this period wasn’t without its challenges.
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“Not only does it make it difficult to plan or invest in anything medium or long-term, as you’re making decisions just to stay afloat week by week, but it puts tremendous financial pressure on you personally as founders,” he says.
“It took us four years before we started making enough revenue to sustain ourselves and our business, and start to grow.”
Another lesson came after a capital raising exercise saw Eikmeier and Dry partner with large online retail group, The Catch Group, which meant giving up a majority stake in the business.
“We ended up finding a way to buy the company back and that was been the best decision we ever made,” he says.
Eikmeier says Vinomofo has recently brought in a “world-class leadership team” to its organisational structure and has plans to scale from 75 to 150 people on the ground in Melbourne in the next year.
For Eikmeier, Vinomofo’s next big move is likely to involve heavy investments in local and global markets.
“We’re investing $10m in marketing in our Australian market, with a 300% growth target,” he says.
“We’ve just hired two Asia leads and we’re setting up in Shanghai to launch Vinomofo into China. This marks the beginning of a global expansion.”
Eikmeier says the strategy will also see the online retailer growing its Vino Direct “marketplace” channel.
Launched six months ago, Eikmeier says the channel aims to act as a disruptive direct sales marketplace for producers to get around Australia’s “big two” wine retailers and supermarkets.