Deal Abstract

Building a wine store by pursuing a custom Fulfilled-by-Amazon model. Believes that it can build a more lucrative business by letting wineries hold the inventory while they just drive the digital marketing/online pricing angle. Could be interesting depending on whether they’re actually eliminating a middle man (e.g. becoming a marketplace for wineries to sell their own goods,) or if they’re just becoming a more efficient middle man.



Why Investing/Passing

  1. Pre-revenue instantly killed it for me.
  2. Doesn’t feel like the right team to build an online marketplace.
  3. Lack of familiarity with the market and uncertainty/skepticism about the business model.

The 6 Calacanis Characteristics (91 161 18)

1. A startup that is based in SVFail: But interestly enough, in the original (Napa) “Valley” e.g. Napa, CA.
2. Has at least 2 founders Pass (5)
3. Has product in the market Pass
4. 6 months of continuous user growth or 6 months of revenue.Fail: The Company is pre-revenue and may not be successful in its efforts to grow and monetize its product.
5. Notable investors?Fail
6. Post-funding, will have 18 months of runway Fail: Burned $200k in 10 days for 02/19/20 to 02/29/20. Following that burn, would only raise 3 months of burn at full subscription.

The 7 Thiel Questions (ETMPDDS)

  1. The Engineering question:
    • Interesting: I like the FBA model for wine but 1) am unfamiliar with the market e.g. is anyone else doing this.
  2. The Timing question
    • Good: not quite sure if wine works like coffee e.g. people drink as much coffee during economic recessions, just cheaper coffee, but see it as a fairly recession proof concept.
  3. The monopoly question
    • Maybe: The key variable here is how many “FBA marketplaces” the wineries want to sign on with. I guess if it’s like Amazon, then in this case, WineStash is like Amazon and eliminating those retailers who buy wholesale from wineries

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