CrowdFunding ! Bottled by You: Naked Wines’

IT’S BEEN NEARLY six years since Rowan Gormley, a South African who first built his reputation in private equity, decided it was time to get back into the wine business. Having founded and run what would become Virgin Wines, he knew there was a very real market in wine, despite various protestations from the established trade. “It was around 2008,” he says. “Lehman’s had just gone bust, countries were going bankrupt and I just thought: We can’t do what everybody else is doing. It has to be radical, it has to be different.” So he set up Naked Wines, an online retailer with a difference. It is a social site: Customers are invited to rate the wines they have tasted, post comments and interact with fellow drinkers as well as the winemakers. Drinking Now Three Naked Wines worth seeking out . It also serves as a crowdfunding option for independent producers. If customers like the wines, they can become “wine angels”—a monthly payment of £20 lets you order bottles at a discount from winemakers while allowing Naked Wines to plan its investment in them. The premise is that by directly funding the winemaker, the company removes the middleman and marketing costs—savings […]

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