A few days ago, iDealwine concluded a new financial operation with Capital Croissance, an investment fund that will now be accompanying our business in its development. So, what does this mean for us?
An exciting project that began a few months ago, this financial operation signed with Capital Croissance has bolstered 20 years of work led by Cyrille Jomand (CEO), Angélique de Lencquesaing and Lionel Cuenca (Managing Directors) in building and growing iDealwine, now France’s top wine auctioneer and a leader in online wine sales. This success comes down to the dedication of a whole team: 45 people working in Paris, Bordeaux, and Hong Kong to help clients across the world find our platform, with its unique and extensive range of bottles, comprehensive wine encyclopaedia, and cellar management services.
The assurance given to us by the team of entrepreneurs at Capital Croissance in joining us at the table is thanks to you, clients and wine enthusiasts, who continue to support us in our venture. We want to thank you sincerely for the loyalty and passion you have displayed since our beginnings in 2000.
Restructuring our capital
Capital Croissance’s arrival onto the scene hasn’t brought with it any major changes operationally speaking, since our three founders remain at the helm, including their majority shares in iDealwine’s capital. However, this deal has brought a partial or total liquidation to the involvement of minority shareholders who have long accompanied us. In particular, LM Holding have been with us since 2014, and has now ceased participation. Cyrille Jpmand says “We’d like to express our gratitude to LM Holding for its fundamental contribution to the success of the Group internationally. iDealwine has recorded two-figure growth since 2015, with profitability intensifying in 2018 and 2019,”. iDealwine’s international team has indeed been able to travel to Europe, Asia, and the US more and more often over the years. Wine lovers have seen our faces in Paris, Brussels, Luxembourg, London, Merano (Italy), Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai, Tokyo, and New York…until the pandemic kept us very much grounded and pushed us to expand our digital activities. In the meantime, we have expanded our export capacity, now shipping to 60 countries! This partnership with Capital Croissance will allow us to continue our development, starting with Italy and Germany. New versions of the site in the languages of these key European countries will be online before too long…
Indefatigable in our quest to share the culture of wine and the values of a French SMB across the world, our team now has its sights set on the US. This is a country with a long history of wine appreciation, with a penchant for French grands crus, but exporting bottles state side has not been simple since 2019. A conflict in the aeronautical sector led to the introduction of extra taxes on wine imports under the Trump administration, a development that slowed us down without stopping progress altogether. American clients represent a solid and enthusiastic base of wine lovers on the lookout for rare wines. And they will continue to find what they seek with iDealwine.
Despite the far-reaching consequences of the health crisis, iDealwine held no less than 41 auctions in 2020. Indeed, even though the economic context (closed bars and restaurants, lockdown, curfew) continues to place considerable constraints on traditional distribution sources, our teams have been working full out with the 700 domains in our network, reinforcing our offer of fixed price wines. The operation with Capital Croissance will allow us to expand our top-quality sourcing even further, with a particular focus on eco-friendly production. As you have seen over the last year or so, wine made using responsible, organic, biodynamic, and natural methods has been placed front and centre in our priorities. Organic wines made up 37% of our sales in 2020, which is significantly higher than the overall percentage of wines made in this way. We don’t limit our search geographically, and Bordeaux wines are acquired via our trading structure LMGV.
Innovative services for enthusiasts
We’re putting several innovative projects into motion at present, with more in the pipeline. Our top of the range spirit auctions, started at the end of 2020 in partnership with La Maison du Whisky on the new Fine Spirits Auction platform, will continue to build steam. At the same time, our own site is undergoing continual changes to improve your user experience, and new services will soon be available to help you put together and manage your cellar. Keep an eye open, as we’ll be announcing something new and exciting in just a few days…
Development is the word
As well as the support of funds from Capital Croissance, several banks play a part in the operation (BNP Paribas, Caisse d’Epargne Ile-de-France, and BRED), giving iDealwine the means to confidently plan for an ambitious future. The Group will also look into external funding options and partnerships right to consolidate the different axes of our activity and accelerate development. Cyrille Jomand adds “this is a deal we’re really excited about, and it allows us to calmly consider iDealwine’s next steps. We can’t wait to put new projects into place with the support of our talented teams who work in service of wine, those who produce it, and those who share it.”
As you can see, our objective is for iDealwine to continue on its trajectory and remain your go-to site for discovering delightful wines. The same site, but better: this is the goal we’re aiming for. We also hope to be able to see each other again soon at salons and tastings. Whilst you have already been many to enjoy our virtual tastings – which we plan to continue both in France and internationally – we recognise the value of sharing together in person, and we’ll be taking up the baton on that front as soon as we can.