The French Cellar gears up for expansion to new Asian markets with investment from Kyosei Ventures and new Chairman Jackie Lee
As part of the deal, seasoned serial entrepreneur Jackie Lee will take on the role of Chairman, while Founders Vincent Morello and Eric Joubert will hold the CEO and COO positions respectively. With Lee’s understanding of the online landscape and a growing market for French wine in Asia, the business looks set to expand out of Singapore and Hong Kong into other Asian countries, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and China.
“This is a crucial turning point as we welcome on board Jackie Lee as Founding Member and Chairman,” Morello said, adding, “The synergies of Jackie’s team and our team are obvious on top of the common passion in wine and e-commerce. His validation of the model, expertise and connections will enable us to confidently develop faster and stronger in Singapore and Asia.”
Started in October 2013 in Singapore, The French Cellar offers a wine subscription service for wine lovers. Exclusively imported from France directly from vineyards, the wines are carefully selected by sommelier Nicolas Rebut, former Chef Sommelier of the 3-star Michelin restaurants, Louis XV (Monaco) and Le Meurice (Paris). Every month, members receive two select French wines, together with the sommelier’s tasting guide. Members can then enjoy a discount on purchase of wines thereafter.
Valued at nearly €3 billion a year, the Asian market for French wine shows tremendous potential, with the share of French wine exports to Asia growing from 17 per cent in 2009 to 27 per cent in 2012. As the first company in the market to introduce the concept of curated French wine subscriptions, The French Cellar is well positioned to tap into this growing market in Asia, with its current consumers receptive to this new approach to wine consumption.
“I am excited and honoured to join Vincent and Eric as part of their founding team,” Lee remarked, adding, “The French Cellar has demonstrated a viable business model with the initial soft launch and proof of concept, and I am really happy to see daily subscriptions coming in! We are confident to come in at this point to jumpstart the next phase of growth and bring this service to more wine lovers in Asia.”