Our insatiable appetite for instant gratification has paved the way for a wealth of lifestyle apps sitting on the front page of our smartphones. With the help of Uber, Trip Advisor and Yelp we can get to the best hotels, restaurants and find the best things to do in any location we may find ourselves.
After recently making the common mistake of pacing up and down the famous supermarket wall of wine, not knowing what to buy. I thought there must be a better way of managing this first world problem. A quick internet search revealed I had been missing out on the Vivino mobile app that now has over 17 million users, and I felt compelled to find out more.
The app allows wine lovers to scan any bottle of wine in any location and browse through full details along with user reviews. To put this into perspective, the library currently consists of 8.6 million bottles of wine. Users of the application now scan around 300,000 bottles each day.
The back story behind the success of this idea was even more intriguing. CEO Heini Zachariassen left the world of security at Bullguard to start his online wine community despite knowing very little about the industry at the time.
This software entrepreneur armed with a passion for a product and a little naivety moved forward with his dream regardless. Despite initially being greeted with amusement and an element of skepticism from some within this very traditional industry, the gamble soon paid off.
Focusing on the wine data rather than the technology of the app, quickly proved to be a shrewd move. Innovating in a traditional market can be frustrating when others do not understand. But once the corner was turned and they saw the movement of the wine community, people were quick to get on board.
Conscious that others were battling it out in an over saturated market, Heini was quick to point out that the-the wine community was bigger than books and music, it's one of those colossal industries that haven't yet been touched by the digital revolution yet.
Somehow entrepreneurs had passed the wine industry niche without giving it a second thought. While companies were trying to stamp their mark on the $100 billion dollar music or book industries, they failed to see the wine industry was a $300 billion dollar industry.
Sensing a massive opportunity, Heini's dream of helping users find their next bottle wine seemed to strike a cord with mobile users. The ability to scan any bottle with their phone to confidently choose some wine for a party or gift was an instant hit.
There are now 100,000 ratings every day from the Vivino app compared to only 20,000 per year on traditional wine rating formats. Maybe we shouldn't be too surprised to learn how the Vivino rating is becoming the standard.
Check out my recent conversation with CEO Heini Zachariassen on my podcast. We discuss the $40 million funding and the future of the Vivino online wine community, database and mobile application