Vint Specializes in a Unique Asset Class: Wine
COO Adam Lapierre breaks down the reasoning behind his fintech startup
Think about all the assets you can invest in these days: Mutual funds. Corporate bonds. Stocks. Private equity funds.
The list goes on and on, and you may want to add wine to it. Enter fintech startup Vint, a crowdfunding-like platform in which the public can directly invest in curated collections of fine wine and rare spirits. Similar to other assets and investments, the collections go live for investors and, over time, a portion or entirety of the collection is sold, resulting in proceeds distributed to investors.
“Our objective is to bring this asset class to everyone, increasing understanding of the value that alternative assets can bring to any investment portfolio,” says Adam Lapierre, COO and head of wine for Vint. “Anyone, from retail investors to institutions, can invest. We want to see wine and fine spirits in more portfolios… it’s not only been a passion asset but has shown incredible price appreciation.”
According to Lapierre, recent collections on the site have included the “Japanese Whisky Icons” collection—including a 30-year-old Hibiki Suntory Whisky—valued at $50,000, as well as a Champagne Stars collection valued at $97,000, and including more than 400 bottles of rare bubbly.
Vint investors can buy into the collections at set share prices. On the flip side of the transaction, consumers can buy rare bottles and collections via VintMarketplace.com, which has lower selling fees compared to other avenues, like auction houses that may take 25 percent or more from sales.
Key to investor success is Vint’s experience, knowledge, and 120-plus years of data related to the fine wine and spirits realm. Lapierre himself is one of 56 Masters of Wine in the United States and one of approximately 350 in the world, as designated by the Institute of Masters of Wine. Beyond pinpointing the right wine at the right time to acquire, Lapierre says the company’s transparency is a differentiator.
“The wine and spirits markets tend to be very opaque in nature,” he says. “For us, the idea of being transparent and our investors having access to as much information as possible is important. We want them to have total visibility into what we do—all of our filings are with the [U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission], they can see who is insuring them, who paid for them, and everything is audited by a third party.”
According to the Vint website, the company currently owns more than 7,400 bottles and has conducted more than $6 million in SEC-qualified offerings. In a December 2022 interview with TechCrunch, Vint CEO said that, to date, the company has “generated returns of 28.3 percent for asset exits on a net annualized basis” since the company’s June 2019 founding.
For more information on Vint, visit vint.co.
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