Spiritrade boss Jimmy Metta tells db about the firm smashing its first-year growth expectations by 300%, and shaking things up in the industry with the launch of the secure global drinks marketplace
LAUNCHED IN March 2019, new kid on the block, Spiritrade, has proved to be adept at shaking up the drinks marketplace. This was a key aim of founder Jimmy Metta, whose previous successes include luxury drinks wholesaler Vanquish and online drinks retailer 31Dover.com.
The global drinks trading platform for spirits, beer, Champagne and non- alcoholic beverages now boasts a membership of around 250 wholesalers, cash and carries, brand owners and retailers from 48 countries, which Metta says proves the appetite for a tech-based platform that opens up the drinks market.
It allows businesses to trade stock more efficiently through its community of carefully vetted and approved traders, he says, creating a valuable solution to an age-old problem, and creating revenue streams that were previously hard to reach.
“It’s really been a strong reception from the industry – businesses around the world are finding a massive appetite for a tech platform like ours to trade their stocks more efficiently,” Metta explains. “My target in our first year was 80 members, and that has risen by over three times that number.”
He said the team has created an efficient and secure environment for stockholders to run their businesses more effectively by connecting buyers and sellers in the trade.
“Before, brand owners were either sitting on too much stock, or retailers and
wholesalers couldn’t find it at the right price, and the industry was very antiquated,” he explains. Spiritrade allows sellers (and in particular brand owners) to retain complete control over where their stock goes and its pricing, pinpointing which markets to sell in while excluding others. On the buyers’ side, new capabilities allow them to create a wishlist for specific items and receive alerts by app and email when something meets their criteria. And as the company has attracted investment recently, it is set to increase its technology and build additional capabilities to boost its members’ business revenues.
“We have some savvy investors behind us, and it’s a global, scalable business,” Metta says. “In the next five years, we want to be the epicentre of the drinks trade, and want our members to use our platform daily as the main business tool by which to trade drinks.”
It has already become a global marketplace in a short space of time – around 30% of its market is the UK, 40% is Europe, and the remainder is Asia and Africa – but Metta argues that vetting potential members is an important part of the business. “We only accept members who comply with our vetting process, and reject many applicants on a daily basis. We do this to ring-fence the quality of our community,” he explains.
FAITH IN THE PROCESS
As well as this, Spiritrade verifies the stock that comes into its bonded warehouses as part of the sale process. For these reasons, potential buyers can have complete faith in the process from start to finish. Spiritrade operates out of six warehouses – five in the Netherlands and one in Spain – but a new hub will soon be added in the US, and one in Asia. A new logistics service is also offered, driven by customer demand.
As Metta says, it’s all about listening to the customer and your target audience, and in doing so, opening up the market and making it work in a far more efficient way. “We want to take drinks trading out of the dark ages, and ensure our members have safer, additional revenue streams.”