In a statement ZX Ventures said it has “has committed capital and resources to allow BoozeBud to increase its investment in its e-commerce platform, product range and logistics capabilities.”
“For consumers it will mean a bigger range, quicker delivery and an amazing shopping experience. For suppliers, the continued growth of BoozeBud will put their products in the hands of more customers across Australia,” the statement said.
BoozeBud launched in 2014 as BeerBud before changing its name and focus to include wine and spirits in late 2015.
In 2015 BoozeBud launched a Pozible campaign to raise $25,000 to help it to source “hard-to-find” beers from around the world. The campaign failed to reach its target. Last year the online retailer was one of ten startups and scaleups selected to participate in Lion’s 12-week industry accelerator program “Unleashed“.
ZX Ventures has invested in a number of online businesses, including in 2016 acquired a minority stake in online beer-rating site RateBeer, British online retail sites Beer Hawk and whisky company The Atom Group.
Rodolfo Chung, ZX Ventures’ Australia head, said that while it’s small now, online retail was a developing category.
“We are excited about it and we see it as bringing great beers to more people,” he said.
“So we are interested in developing the category and being in e-commerce is natural. We’ve been doing this in other countries. Australia is a big part for us. So this makes a lot of sense.”
Even so he dismissed concerns overseas that with revenue currently so small the main value was the data to be gained through online businesses.
“For now the revenue part is small. Everything that we do is because we believe that there is a trend, that there is going to be growth ahead of BoozeBud that eventually could be mature, but for now it’s not going to add revenue to ABInBev,” Chung explained.
“In terms of data, it’s very important. We work with our legal department and they have very important protocols for us to follow.
“So this will be run independently and data will not be shared with ABInBev or with CUB. So it’s very important that we were very clear. We’re not going to get access to customer data, we’re not going to get access to competitor data.”
Chung said he wasn’t concerned about the negative connotations that come with the name ‘Booze’.
“We respect their identity and personality, it’s very informal and a very young positioning for the brand. It is the common language.”
“We’ve got to be very strong on responsible drinking, this is important, but we don’t foresee any issues of maintaining the name. But, yes, responsible drinking is really important for us and will be very important for our partners as well.”
BoozeBud was purchased for an undisclosed sum.
More to come.