citybiz+ Wine-Investing Platform Vint Raises $5 Million in Seed Funding Round

Vint, which seeks to build precious wines and spirits into a new investment class, has closed on $5 million in a seed round led by Menlo Park, Calif.-based Montage Ventures.

Other investors in the round include MS&AD Ventures, Goat Rodeo Capital, Fintech Ventures (Atlanta, Ga.), Great Oaks Venture Capital (New York), Plug & Play Ventures, irrvntVC (New York), Fiat Ventures and WTI.

“Our mission is to create a new financial asset class. One day, wine and spirits will be counted alongside stocks and bonds as a core portfolio asset,” Vint co-founder and CEO Nick King said in a blog post to announce the seed round.

The three-year-old Vint runs an SEC-approved platform for investing in wine and spirits. It has so far sold fractionalized shares worth over $4 million in 46 expert-curated, thematic collections, each averaging over $100,000. Vine claims net annualized returns of 28.3% for investors who exited.

‘Master of Wine’

Vint was founded in 2019 by Nick King, an investment analyst at Thompson, Siegel & Walmsley, and Patrick Sanders, a software engineer at Capital One. A key member of the team is Adam Lapierre, one of only 56 so-called Masters of Wine in the United States.

King’s interest in wine as an investment class came through his work at Thompson. He was inspired by the post -World War II futures model built by Bordeaux wine producers that allows them to realize revenue much before their wine hit the markets.

“I looked at wine and what stood out to me about wine, looking at it through the lens of an investor was strong returns, low volatility, low correlation to traditional financial assets in a very inefficient market,” he has said in an interview. Besides creating a new asset class, King also found “economic inefficiencies,” that could bring good returns. “So, if you look at the stock market, the price of an Apple stock will be within a fraction of a penny. When you look at the wine market, pricing spreads are very wide,” he pointed out.

Vint has got SEC approval to run a so-called Reg A+ platform, making it easier to raise funds. It can acquire wine collections and sell fractional shares to investors on its platform. Its first collection was worth $46,000, and investors could buy the fractional shares at $46 apiece. This, King says, brings transparency and allows anybody to invest in wine.

Montage Ventures

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Montage Ventures, based in Menlo Park, Calif., has raised $53 million from two funds. It has made 93 portfolio investments and 11 exits. In a blog post announcing its investment in Vine, Montage hailed the new investment class.

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“Fine wine and spirits, in particular, are an incredible alternative asset class that we are bullish on at Montage Ventures. It boasts a low correlation to the public markets, has less volatility, and has outperformed the S&P in the last few decades,” Montage said. “Fine wine and spirits have had an average return of 8–25% IRR on collections and 15–30% on futures annually!”

Besides Vint, Montage’s portfolio investments this year include Pylon, Caden, Equi, Keyway, Pebble and Upswing Health.