Bevvy, the whisky app founded in 2021 and based on the Scottish island Islay, has closed a $1.5 million seed funding round. The new investment comes, principally, from Scotland-based angel investors, existing shareholders and a Denver-based family office. Co-founder & head of whisky Laurie Black commented “Having already established the leading position in the digital whisky space; this new capital allows us to cement our market share and grow our consumer audience into new territories. We’re hugely excited to be heading Stateside in 2024!”
Founded in 2021 by leading whisky expert Black, mathematician Atanas Tonchev and medtech entrepreneur Lucas Heron; bevvy is a technology-led whisky discovery platform that operates via consumer-facing Android and Apple (iOS) phone mobile applications. Users can use the app and the camera on their mobile phone to scan the label of any whisky bottle and uncover tasting notes alongside indicative valuations for their collection. At its heart, is a leading, proprietary image capturing software, supported by the world’s largest database of whiskies, numbering over 200,000 catalogued from the past 120 years of releases. The database includes 150,000 images and tracks retail and auction pricing whilst also monitoring market sentiment in order to arrive at a dynamic, live valuation which it shares with its 120,000, regular active users. Once a bottle is scanned, the whisky is profiled with content populated by distillery and bottler overviews, dynamic pricing data and expert tasting notes. Whiskies are routinely rated by consumers within the app, which allows the tech to become familiar with each user’s taste preferences, which in turn allows Bevvy to recommend other bottles that a user might enjoy.
Finance firector Greg Gormley added “In one of the most challenging fundraising environments I can recall; Bevvy’s successful raise underlines its dominant and growing position as a critical tool among whisky consumers and collectors. The interest and demand in whisky is growing at a pace not seen before. However, the market is fragmented and disjointed, with an absence of easy-to-access tools and information. There is a considerable hole in the market for a value-add, information-led app that allows a bottle of whisky to be fully understood, in terms of taste, history and pricing. Bevvy is addressing this need and is finding its audience is both engaged and growing at a phenomenal pace.”
Over the past 12 months, Bevvy has begun to integrate whisky bar and pub data, whereby bar operators can scan the bottles they have available and publish a live menu. Whisky auctioneers too are finding Bevvy to be a critical resource in dealing with providing prospective consignors indicative valuations for their whisky portfolio, should they choose to offer their bottles for sale at auction. Meanwhile, distilleries are readily and keenly engaging with Bevvy, which has 11 whisky release ballots already penned in for 2024. (A whisky ballot is a mechanism whereby consumers that wish to purchase a bottle from a new, limited release of whisky, enter into a draw to have the right to buy a bottle). Bevvy has proven effective at engaging new audiences with independent bottlers and distilleries whilst also taking the administrative pain from ballot organisation with its mobile solution.
More recently, the company has begun to grow its presence in the US and its database work to expand its catalogue of Bourbon bottles is well underway. Part of its investment from US investors was predicated on a commitment to be live and active in the US market by the middle of 2024. Laurie Black added “This is an extraordinarily exciting time for us, we see thousands of bottle scans each and every week, we are gaining a fascinating insight into user taste preferences, price trends and industry strengths and weaknesses. Bevvy finds itself at the heart of a major shift in how consumers and collectors engage with this multi billion dollar market. 2024 is going to be a year of spectacular development and innovation.”