SOURCE: Lot18

Lot18

May 02, 2011 15:44 ET

Lot18 Closes $10 Million in Series B Funding

NEA Ventures Leads Round to Support Product Development and Continue Expansion

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - May 2, 2011) - Lot18, the New York-based company that is changing the way Americans buy wine, today announced that it has completed a $10 million Series B financing led by NEA Ventures. Tom Grossi, Principal at New Enterprise Associates (NEA) will join Lot18's Board of Directors along with Amish Jani, Managing Director at FirstMark Capital, which led the Series A and also participated in this round. Funds will support the formation of new products and help grow the team as Lot18 expands to meet escalating demand.

The invitation-only site offers users savings of up to 60 percent on a curated selection of premium wines. In just six months, the company has grown from six to more than 50 employees, with over 200,000 subscribers and over $1 million in monthly revenues. Lot18's growth can be credited to the team's unique expertise -- combining decades of leadership in both the wine and technology industries.

"Lot18 provides excellent value to both wineries and wine buyers, from enthusiasts to casual consumers," said NEA's Tom Grossi. "Embracing the same philosophy of superb customer service that drove Zappos and Diapers.com, Lot18 will help consumers comfortably discover the hidden gems that might previously have required a trip to the tasting rooms of Sonoma. The Lot18 executive team has an innovative vision, coupled with an extremely knowledgeable procurement team and a long history of building high growth businesses, and will reshape the online wine sales space."

The collective experience of Lot18's wine procurement team ensures buyer confidence in its wine selections. The team works with producers from around the world to bring high-quality and hard-to-find wines directly to consumers. By working directly with wineries, Lot18 can offer wines at extremely attractive prices, unmatched elsewhere. Additionally, Lot18 provides wine producers an unprecedented way to expand their customer base and attract new, direct-to-consumer business.

Amish Jani of FirstMark Capital added, "Lot18's model aims to protect and develop the brands it works with, while at the same time inspiring new audiences by bringing unique producers into the mainstream. This new round helps Lot18 further develop these innovative practices as it continues to build the brand."

The Series B funding comes in addition to a $3 million Series A round raised in November 2010, and led by FirstMark Capital. For more information about Lot18 please visit www.lot18.com/funding.

About Lot18
Lot18 is a membership by invitation website for wine and epicurean products from coveted producers at attractive discounts. Members have access to some of the finest wines and specialty foods, made available in small quantities at extraordinarily low prices. Lot18 evokes the auction lots of old, where savvy consumers were able to bid on fantastic products at incredible values.

Lot18 was founded in 2010 by Kevin Fortuna and Philip James. Kevin was formerly the CEO of Quigo, an advertising technology company that was sold to AOL Time Warner for $360 million in November 2007. Philip was the founding CEO of Snooth, the world's largest wine website.

Lot18's advisory board includes seasoned industry veterans drawn from the ranks of eBay, PayPal, Victoria's Secret, Amazon, AOL, Quigo, Time Inc., Ziff Davis, and Experian. Investors include top venture capital firms, FirstMark Capital and NEA, backers of companies including Groupon, Diapers.com, and Stubhub.

For more information, or to request an invitation to Lot18, visit: http://www.lot18.com.