Serial wine entrepreneur and one of Australia’s digital pioneers, Dean Taylor is launching his 8th technology-focused venture – WINEDEPOT – set to disrupt Australia’s $40 billion wine industry.
WINEDEPOT is a cloud-based technology platform connecting the wine industry and providing an end-to-end supply chain solution. Partnering with Australia Post, the world first integrated model will introduce same day delivery to retailers from Australia’s 2,500 wineries.
Taylor, an architect turned wine-tech entrepreneur is well known and highly regarded within the Australian wine industry, named one of the 50 Stars of Wine and TOP 50 People in Ecommerce.
What is Dean Taylor looking to achieve with WINEDEPOT?
He shares, “The concept for WINEDEPOT is something that I have been thinking about and developing for almost two decades. Even 20 years ago, I could see how inefficient and expensive the existing supply chain and distribution model was. Rather sadly, it’s hardly evolved at all in that time.”
“The WINEDEPOT logistics solution has been specifically designed to remove the layers and layers of inefficiency and wastage that exist in the supply chain.”
Australia Post will provide warehouses, staffing, backend IT systems and infrastructure to support WINEDEPOT’s technology platform, transforming the existing wine supply chain.
Recognising the scale of this project, Dean vended WINEDEPOT into Digital Wine Ventures (ASX:DW8) in April 2019 becoming the largest shareholder and CEO. His vision for DW8 is to build a diversified portfolio of technology businesses servicing the $300 billion global wine and beverage industry.
“I’ve spent the last 20 years building wine businesses,” he shares. “Online consumers have been trained by the likes of Amazon to expect free and fast delivery and if you don’t provide that your customers will eventually go elsewhere. I learnt that the hard way and it led to my decision to try and tackle the problem.”
How this wine entrepreneurship journey started
Taylor’s first venture Wine Ark – an off-site climate-controlled storage for wine collectors – was the first company of its kind in the world to provide their customers’ online access to their collections, and later sold for $8.5m. He then leveraged technology to launch Wine Exchange an online trading platform; The Cellar Club, a premium wine club and Crackawines.com.au – an online marketplace that allowed wineries to sell direct-to-consumer.
WINEDEPOT combines Taylor’s extensive experience running storage and online retail solutions in the wine industry.
Currently most retailers operate from a single warehouse site in either Sydney or Melbourne, with stock purchased tying up valuable working capital. Interstate orders are typically shipped by the case, which is expensive and can take anywhere between 2 and 10 days to arrive at its destination.
“Our network of depots will allow retailers to have a presence in other capital cities, dramatically reducing their freight costs and delivery times – without having to invest in that inventory or infrastructure.”