Latest tweets from Vinomofo


Australian wine lovers community

Sector: Futurefood

Vinomofo is all about good wine, real people, and the most epic wine deals on the planet. Founded by André Eikmeier and Justin Dry in 2011 from an Adelaide garage, the business sources and sells wines that they drink and they think members will love too. “We represent a revolution against the bowties and bullshit of the wine snobs and posers who think wine is for the chosen few elite and educated. It’s not. We think everybody should be able to enjoy good wine, without feeling intimidated”

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.

“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.

Discussing tricks for tapping into self-belief at the Melbourne launch of startup documentary The New Hustle, Dry told the crowd about a strategy he learned at a conference.

“If you pretend you’re wearing a superhero cape, you walk differently. You kind of walk shoulders back and tall, and it helps,” he says.

That’s not where the visualisations stopped, either: when it came to the more difficult moments of the business, Dry motivated himself by imagining potential outcomes while looking in the mirror.

He would imagine what his life would look like if the startup didn’t end up working, and asked himself what that would look like over one, three, five and 10 years.

“If you do that in front of a mirror, you start like, leaning forward, and you start kind of getting smaller and feeling shit,” he explained.

“If you kind of reverse it and go, ‘no fuck it, I’m going to change it and I’m going to continue to believe and I’m going to have an even bigger picture that I want to achieve’ — if you start going one, three, five years [for that outcome], you start standing taller. I used to do that a lot.

“I used to stand in front of the mirror and just believe in yourself.”

Dry and co-founder Andre Eikmeier faced several precarious moments in building up Vinomofo, which they discuss in The New Hustle, and Eikmeier is also open about the potential implications of failure on his loved ones.

Saying he spent “four or five years building into pressure points” while getting Vinomofo off the ground, Eikmeier said he appreciates just how important it was for the business to succeed.

“Had Vinomofo not worked it would have been pretty dire for my family financially,” Eikmeier explained.

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