Don St Pierre Jr has led investment of $4.4M in Vinfolio, an integrated fine wine platform. St Pierre became co-owner and CEO of Vinfolio effective March 4, 2016.
Vinfolio’s services and technology streamline a myriad of touch points for the fine wine consumer. In addition to sourcing and selling fine wine online, there is a Wine Marketplace for collector-to-collector transactions. Their proprietary VinCellar software is a cellar management solution that also allows an online community to share reviews and access professional scores, drink dates and pricing data points. In addition to eCommerce, Vinfolio services include comprehensive cellar management and wine storage.
Financier Steve Bachmann pioneered the concept and founded Vinfolio in 2003. It’s received an influx of capital since 2006 when 10 angel investors committed $1.6M. In August 2007, Vinfolio received $1.5M debt financing and $3M Series A funding provided by 8 new private investors. Expansion to Hong Kong was an objective in 2008. Panorama Capital also provided Series A funding of $4.5M in Sept 2009. Vinfolio then launched Marketplace, the first online channel for collector-to-collector wine sales. However, the deep recession continued to impact the demand for fine wine. By January 2010 Vinfolio required restructuring. Led by Jon Moramarco a group of investors acquired the secured debt and Vinfolio entered into an “Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors,” a California state alternative to filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 11. In March 2010 assets of Vinfolio, Inc were purchased by VF Wine, Inc. and Michael Jellison was appointed CEO. In April 2010, Vinfolio established a partnership with London-based Berry Bros & Rudd to market the coveted 2009 Bordeaux en primeur. By May 2010 AOL co-founder Steve Case and his investment firm Revolution got involved, details were undisclosed. “The cash infusion from Revolution will help with day-to-day operation costs and future growth,” Vinfolio spokesman David Ruvalcaba said at the time. This month Vinfolio turns a new page as wine industry expert St Pierre takes the helm and invests $4.4M.
With 20 years in the industry, Canadian St Pierre has often been recognized on the wine world’s top power lists. St Pierre was successful in navigating and ultimately penetrating the complex and challenging wine market in China. In 1996 he and his father co-founded ASC Fine Wines in Shanghai and developed an extensive network importing, distributing, and selling premium wine throughout China. When Japan-based Suntory Holdings bought 70% of ASC in 2010 St Pierre remained CEO until 2012. His involvement continued until December 31, 2015 when he resigned as ASC Board Member and Senior Advisor to Suntory Wines. Today, St Pierre turns his sights to Vinfolio
St Pierre has relocated to tech hub San Francisco where as Vinfolio CEO he’ll lead sales, procurement, consignment, storage and operations. “Vinfolio’s unique platform, focused on the fine wine market and combining full service storage, sales and cellar management was extremely attractive to me,” said St Pierre “I believe it offers the fine wine consumer a great one-stop solution to more efficiently and enjoyably pursue their passion for drinking, collecting and investing in the best wines in the world.”
Jean-Michel Valette, Vinfolio Board Chairman added, “Don is the perfect person to leverage Vinfolio’s industry-leading position in the buying, selling and storing of the world’s finest wines. His vast global experience and relationships in all aspects of fine wine dovetail perfectly with Vinfolio’s goal of being a trusted partner between producers and consumers of fine and rare wines.”