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Finding a special bottle of wine in your local store that you discovered in a restaurant can be nearly impossible, especially considering that most retailers carry less than 2 percent of wine on the market.  Well, now there’s Drync.  The “Shazam for wine” has launched its full-featured wine mobile app on iOS that lets you learn about, track, share, and buy wine in seconds by simply taking a snapshot of the wine label.

Drync also announced that it has secured $900,000 in new funding from angel investors, including Mark Hastings, managing partner of Garvin Hill Capital Fund, financial industry executive Jack Remondi and Andrew Moss, founder of BuyWithMe.

Drync, which is emerging from beta, is doing to the wine market what Shazam did for music.  Using image recognition technology and algorithms, Drync is able to match a wine in their retail partners’ inventory with 1.7 million labels in their database.  The newly featured app will include text search with wine-specific type-head technology that Drync developed (some wine words are hard to type!).  The result is the ability to order one of 30,000 wines that Drync has available for sale through its partners with a simple snapshot of the label.  Rosen said that this solves two problems, one for the consumer and one for the winery.

“There’s 38,000 wineries in the world 160,000 new wines flood the market every year and when you have a wine at that restaurant the likelihood that it’s going to be available for sale in your local store is very low,” said Brad Rosen, Founder and CEO of Drync.  “That’s a problem for you, the consumer, because you have no idea what to buy at the liquor store and you can’t find the one you tasted, and it’s a problem for the wineries, because people can’t remember their brand and they can’t have a second experience.”

Drync

The wine market is approaching $34 billion in sales, according to research firm RNCOS, and really hasn’t seen any disruption since Prohibition.  Today, most mom and pop retailers stock approximately 1,000 to 2,000 wines, representing less than two percent of the wines available in a given market, which makes the hunt for a specific wine particularly challenging.  So, why hasn’t anyone done this before?

Well, before 2005, the alcohol industry was heavily regulated and only started relaxing their rules in the past 10 years.  In 2011, an advisory in California changed the playing field for e-commerce by defining how an internet marketer could market and ship wine on behalf of a licensed seller of wine.  Because of this regulation change, the online piece of the wine market is now the fastest growing segment for wine, currently at $600 million and growing at 15 to 20 percent a year.  So it’s no surprise that Amazon.com has moved in on the market, opening a select set of boutique wineries last October that can ship direct through Amazon.   Once Amazon got in the market, Rosen knew it was good place to be.

“When Amazon gets in a market it’s like ok, it’s real,” Rosen said.

Drync, which initially launched its Drync Wine legacy app in December of 2008, has had over a half a million downloads and is hoping to hit a million by the end of the year.  Rosen recently made a deal with a large fulfillment partner expanding Drync’s reach from 18 states to 41 states.  So while the app is available everywhere, if you live in one of the nine states that doesn’t allow the shipment of alcohol, you won’t be able to use the app to  order wine.  But Rosen isn’t phased by that and believes the online market for wine is just beginning.

“We’re perfectly positioned to capitalize on this new market,” Rosen said.  “Every other market has really exploded because of e-commerce, and wine is about to.”


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