Vinomofo has partnered with US YouTube entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk to launch his new wine brand Empathy Wines.
Vaynerchuk has two million subscribers on YouTube, where he started out in 2006 with his channel WineLibrary TV.
Empathy Wines is a direct-to-consumer web brand that offers a model similar to Vinomofo’s approach of bypassing retailers and sourcing directly from wine makers and producers.
“Whoever has the most empathy for the consumers and the farmer will win the wine game,” says Vaynerchuk. “That’s why I’m calling it Empathy.”
The model is considered quite unique in the US, which has a complex and difficult supply chain.
“I think it is going to be a substantially major wine brand in America and then it will be significant work to build it in to a global brand,” Vaynerchuk told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“It will be one of the biggest direct to consumer brands in the price point in America in the next three to four years.”
Vinomofo is selling Empathy Wines in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, with co-founder Justin Dry (pictured main, with Vaynerchuk) excited about the international exposure the partnership offers his company.
“The number of people that have become aware of Vinomofo through this project alone is insane,” he says. “Anytime [Vaynerchuk] posts anything, it is seen by half a million people.”
“He is an incredibly influential and connected person in that market,” he says. “I will definitely talk to him about our opportunity to launch in that market. I am deep in negotiation at the moment, it depends how that plays out.”
Dry told the SMH Vinomofo is “growing solidly” having just hit over $60 million in turnover and is back in profitability.
Last month, the company appointed its first employee in Singapore.
Michael Parmeter is general manager of Singapore, and will look after ground operations, strategic growth, merchandise and local area marketing.
Dry told Inside Retail that Singapore is a “great market” for the business, and that Parmeter’s appointment will assist with expanding operations in the region in the near term and getting into the corporate wine sales market, where he has experience.