A wine-trade only website combining social networking, a commercial marketplace and worldwide database launched in the UK and France today.
Wineandspiritsb2b.com features an aggregated news section, events and competitions and plans to roll out a tenders and offers area, jobs port and CRM system for sales professionals by the end of the year.
The website, founded by Julian Faulkner, a negociant and producer in the south of France and partner Christian Car, an IT expert, is described as a “community where the trade can access a broad range of information for little financial outlay”.
The site, which models itself on LinkedIn, Bloomberg and media resource site Gorkana, will be available in 10 languages, including Korean.
The inspiration came from Faulkner’s frustrations with how the wine trade works. “From a producer side I was constantly asked for the same information for wine competitions.”
Now you can store info and submit through one portal, he argued. The competition itself can then dictate which information it wants and how to receive it.
Although prices for services are yet to be rolled out, Faulkner aims to keep costs low, and doesn’t plan on charging for intelligence gathered. It will be free to create a profile and browse around.
“We’re just introducing technology that exists in other industries. The wine trade is still quite antiquated and conservative in its approach,” said Faulkner.
The site is mostly self-funded, he added, with a small amount of seed funding from investors. It has taken 1.5 years to develop the functionality, with two teams of developers based in Canada and India. The company is registered in Switzerland but will use the UK as its headquarters.