Smart50 Awards 2014

22 Vinomofo

Revenue

$15.2 million

Growth

105.25%

Founders

Andre Eikmeier, 42, and Justin Dry, 37

Head Office

Victoria

Year Founded

2011

Employees

30

Industry

Internet

Website

www.vinomofo.com

 

Vinomofo will be familiar to SmartCompany readers, having landed in second place in last year’s Smart50.

The online alcohol marketplace has fallen in the rankings this year, coming in at number 22, but the last 12 months has been anything but a slowdown for this home-grown company, which grew by 42% during the 2013-14 financial year.

Speaking to SmartCompany from the US, co-founder Andre Eikmeier says the company has its eyes on expanding both into the lucrative American market and perhaps surprisingly, into the physical retail market in Australia.

Eikmeier has been meeting with potential investors in the US, as well as members of the wine industry to “learn more about the obstacles and opportunities” of setting up a US-facing Vinomofo site, and he plans to apply that knowledge to a plan for launching in the US in the 2016 financial year.

“So far it has been pretty positive,” he says.

Closer to home, Eikmeier says bricks-and-mortar Vinomofo stores are also on the cards for 2016.

While he is keeping the details of what the stores may look like close to his chest, Eikmeier says they will fit with Vinomofo’s “highly curated” aesthetic.

“They will most likely have a collection of really cool wines and beer,” he says.

“We’re all about creating a cool wine experience, so we might look at the areas of food and music to offer more than your average retail store.”

While Eikmeier says little has changed in the local wine industry over the past 12 months, Vinomofo has changed substantially.

Co-founder Leigh Morgan is no longer with the company, but the overall Vinomofo team has grown by 19 full-time positions. Whereas last year Eikmeier and co-founder Justin Dry managed a team of 11, they now have more than 40 staff members, including casuals.

The duo are focused on getting the culture of the company right, and part of that has been opening up shares in the business to employees who have bought into the company.

“We bought the whole company back about 12 months ago so it has been a really cool, exciting time with that,” he says.

“It’s all ours now.”

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