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February 8, 2013 | 7:00 AM

WBM publisher Eric Jorgensen brought this article, "ClubW gets $3.1M to add personalization tech to the wine of the month club," to our attention today. Jorgensen said:

"The important takeaway is that this company got financing from some heavy-hitter VCs to develop a wine club that personalizes the wine shipments for each member."

Michael Carney reports in pandomonthly:

There is still VC money out there for subscription ecommerce – when the growth and engagement metrics are healthy enough that is. Los Angeles startup ClubW proved as much by closing a $3.1 million Series A round led by Crosscut Ventures with participation from Guild Capital, Siemer Ventures, Adam Goldenberg, Csaba Konkoly, Brener International Group, 500 Startups, and its accelerator Amplify. Crosscut venture partner and Intelligent Beauty co-founder and CEO Adam Goldenberg will join ClubW’s board of directors.

“Ecommerce is getting a bad wrap in the VC and investor community right now, but we're quite bullish on the category,” Amplify Executive Director Jeff Solomon says. “On the one hand ecommerce needs money to feed the customer acquisition engine. On the other hand it's one of those categories that can weather funding storms because companies have cashflow. We’re gonna double down on the space this year.”

ClubW is what the wine of the month club would be if it were invented in 2012 rather than 1972. Rather than simply deliver a new selection of wines each month, the company relies on an initial taste quiz, and ongoing customer reviews and feedback on each shipment to create a personalized wine profile for each member. As the membership progresses, machine learning algorithms ensure that the selections become more and more tailored to each drinker’s palate.

... The startup currently has 10 employees, and outsources all fulfillment to a group in Napa, California. The new funding will go primarily to ramping up customer acquisition efforts through both online marketing, and offline grassroots campaigns.

Read the full story here.

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