Tuesday, May 1, 2007

$4 million funding for WinePod - Raise A Toast for 'em!

Didn't I mention in my last post that the zing in the information flow has never looked so terrific in the past.. New gadgets and startups get rolled out almost every other day, each trying to create a market of their own. Rolling out a startup is commendable but not as difficult as to keep it going. The survivors of the Great Dot-Com burst would pay testimony to that.
VCs today go for a thorough review before deciding to invest in any firm. They need the profits, but just that they are more careful now. Niche companies have maintained their edge, and draw more interest towards them. ProVina is one such firm, which has managed to raise $4 million for their award winning product WinePod. Though this might not sound really big but it gave me an oppurtunity to have a look at what WinePod does. Did I say they are niche sector folks? Check out for yourselves..
Winepod created the initial buzz more than a year back with San Francisco Chronicle saying this -
Styled to look like a sleek, stainless steel egg, the WinePod is a high-tech home winemaking machine that promises to turn enophiles into instant winemakers -- just add grapes.

Aha! It did sound interesting. From the initial $1,999 model to the current 2007 roll out which costs $3,499 - the concept remains the same. Provide the inputs to the WinePod through the software interface + the grapes (obviously) and you do get a wine which is very much your own product!
This egg shaped instrument does the job for you, which includes the fermentation process and maintains appropriate ageing temperature using electronically controlled thermoelectric heating and cooling. Further, the entire WinePod management is provided by the WinePod Software, which acts as your consultant towards creating supreme quality wine. Have a look at their demo dashboard here..
But where do the grapes come from?
Well, the WinePod folks are your vineyard managers and they work towards providing the highest quality premium grapes from proven vineyards in world-renowned growing regions at all price-points.
Introduced in 2006 and with patents pending, the WinePod has been recognized with numerous innovation awards. Most recently it was named one of the "Next Big Things" in February 2007 by USA Weekend. In April 2007, the WinePod won Business 2.0 and Frog Designs 2007 "Bottom Line Design Award" for design innovation and strong financial prospects.

According to PR NewsWire, ProVina will use the funds from this round to ramp production to meet the significant demand and launch the product globally.

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