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Inertia Beverage Group Raises $14 Million


Date: 12/17/09

Inertia Beverage Group has secured $14 million in new capital, from existing investors Allegis Capital and Sid R. Bass Associates, and new investors, including PEI Funds “to support the vision of IBG to deliver a fully integrated, comprehensive solution for the direct-to-market wine industry.”

Such a sum of venture capital probably hasn’t been invested in wine ecommerce since the early days of venture investing in the wine industry during the dot-com craze. It brings the total IBG has raised to date to about $28 million.

IBG had been working on solidifying its finances since buying New Vine Logistics earlier this year. “This takes questions about viability off the table,” IBG president and chief executive Ted Jansen told Winebusiness.com. “It’s an incredibly challenging fundraising environment. So to be able to close it really shows the confidence our investors have,” he said. “The industry is trying to remake itself and direct is going to be more important to the strategy of every winery.”

IBG also announced that Dave Manougian has joined the company as chairman of the board. A former CEO of The Golf Channel, Manougian also worked for E & J Gallo Winery, Nike and Comcast, which owns the Golf Channel.

The company also said that now that it has integrated operations of New Vine’s fulfillment, it has eliminated “redundant roles and significant cost savings.” Jansen said 15 employees are leaving the combined company and that five offices are being consolidated to two.

“IBG’s delivery of a complete, integrated platform to support direct marketing and sales efforts comes at a critical time for the wine industry,” the company said in a press release. “The need to expand marketing reach, lower costs and complexity, and improve margins is essential for wineries confronting an increasingly challenging market environment.

“We now have access to all of the necessary resources to execute our vision of providing industry leading capabilities and unmatched service to our customers seeking to reach trade and consumer markets directly,” Jansen said in the release. “Our team has really pulled together over the past few months to integrate our eCommerce, fulfillment and compliance operations; our customers are now benefitting from capabilities no other company in the industry can match.”

Website: http://www.inertiabev.com

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