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Wine-Stocks AG

Idea and preparation in 2005 - collect and develop until 2009 - start of working on the platforms 2011 - betaversion (wine) into the net 2013 prototype (wine) Classic Cars (80%) vintage watches (50%) finished 2017
Startup/business
Zurich, Switzerland Switzerland
http://www.wine-stocks.com
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Company description

The Passion Values team has been working on our fully automated, smart online software for all types of collections. In nine languages, we sort, manage, and value collections owned by collectors across the world and serve as a point of contact and interface for auction and trading houses. As of May 2017, we cover: Wine, watches, classic cars, handbags, jewelry, art, musical instruments, coins, dolls, toys and stamps. Our database volume amounts to 70 million auctions. Passion Values works just like a portfolio manager for stocks and other securities at your bank We can do this for real assets too. Our bots collect auction results from thousands of auction houses fully automatically and on an ongoing basis. Our fine-tuned matching processes calculate the value of every individual item of a collection in almost every language and in all currencies, meaning that we assign a realistic and transparent value to every item on a daily basis. The user is provided with any new information on the topic. No rough estimates, meaning no more mistakes. Only Passion Values can do that.


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Team
  • Ron Freund
    Ron Freund | Founder
    Age 3-17 education classical piano and several fighting sports.Age 12 First steps as entrepreneur repair and restoration of classic cars. Age 27 Master of Sports, Age 30 entrepreneur - Age 43 Master Sommelier - Passion Values - until today
Business model

One Page Only: Passion Values

WHAT IS PASSION VALUES LOOKING FOR?
Passion Values is looking for venture capital partners
HOW WILL PASSION VALUES USE THE CAPITAL?
Currently we offer analyse - and management platforms for Real Assents ( Passion Values ). Based on this, we will develop auction - and tradingplatforms for precisely this trading goods.
WHY USERS WILL TRADE ON OUR PLATFORM?
For seven years, Wine-Stocks AG (100% Passion Values) has been building web-based databases that scan and process auctions from around the world. The data that is generated is then used to create price information, charts, trends, forecasts, and other forms of analysis. It has a unique feature found nowhere else in the world: Not only is the information available in eight languages, but users also have the option of creating a portfolio that is updated on a daily basis and is therefore similar to a stock market page featuring share prices. We do not manage any shares, but we manage an almost limitless amount of useful information on emotionally charged Passion Values with a high level of customer retention – this is another completely new and entirely unique feature.
WHY ARE WE THE ONLY ONES WHO CAN OFFER THIS?
Shares and other financial products have unique allocation numbers that make it relatively easy for them to be assigned to the owner with 100% certainty. This was not previously available for Passion Values. Our high-performance system processes can handle data in all languages as well as coping with all errors, inaccuracies, and special linguistic features. In the wine sector alone, our tools need to differentiate between 500 million different wines – including all years and bottle sizes – while maintaining 99.99% accuracy. - Not even Google is currently capable of this.
Wine-Stocks has currently completed the development of its own independent data-to-text machine application. At www.wine-stocks.com and www.wine-stocks.de, all words without pictures are automatically generated by the databases and can theoretically be transferred to any desired database in the world. This system, of course, will also be available on all other Passion Values web applications.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR PASSION VALUES?
In a number of stages, we will develop into a trading and auction house whose exclusive information and features will represent a unique selling point that would be both extremely difficult and highly expensive to copy.
Our users find their 'treasures' in our database and enter the information into the portfolio, including photos and comments. This enables them to discover the current value immediately. Our programs record and evaluate value development, charts, and trends on a daily basis. Reports and other unique forms of analysis add to the options that are available, ensuring a strong relationship with our users and high added value.
Once we have generated a sufficient number of users, we will expand the databases by adding trading and auction venues as part of a two-stage operation. As all the data is already stored in our database and the database is used by customers who share the same interests and the same information, the trading module is an optimum platform that is both logical and promising.
As the number one provider of information on investing in real assets, we will contribute at least 0.3-0.5% (approx. €100m depending on growth) of worldwide turnover concerning our items in the next seven to ten years.
We have analyzed classic cars, watches, wines, musical instruments, toys, coins, stamps, cameras, porcelain, and antique weapons. Annual turnover is rising continuously – the turnover for auctions alone, not including trading, was over €12bn in 2013.
The fees for membership, trading and brokerage activities, additional features such as online games, the insertion of advertising and the sale of data, evaluations, and forecasts in the role of a ranking tool for funds and media officially approved by the CSSF should generate 10-12% of the turnover.

Our online databases:

Wine-Stocks www.wine-stocks.com – largest database for wine prices in the world (eight languages); fully functional; updated on a daily basis; news; initial phase saw approx. 2,000 users per day; PageRank 4-5; 18 months old; rudimentary advertising measures and optimization
Cars-Classic www.cars-classic.com – database for classic cars; beta version but still functional; features data on all significant manufacturers and models; 75% complete; images for Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and Ferrari only available to logged-in users; however, database already provides unique information found nowhere else in the world; has been online for one month
Watches-Prices www.watches-prices.com – database for vintage watches; functioning beta version; 40% complete; images for Omega only available to logged-in users; has been online for two weeks; no advertising; no optimization
Competitive advantage

Unique Selling Points

The Passion Values databases are currently the only ones in the world that are able to gather, filter, and match an almost unlimited number of goods, thereby enabling clear standardization. This is the essential requirement for drawing comparisons within charts, trends, or performance analyses. In addition, there is no link to a database that can incorporate and analyze each comparable item and perform a calculation within a portfolio that is updated on a daily basis. To our knowledge, no search engine is currently able to provide precise data of this kind that would stand in the way of cooperation or a joint venture.

  1. THE KEY COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE IS BASED ON EIGHT POINTS

    Data read-out, data filtering, data comparison, increase in data records, available data pool, increase in listed products, and a scalable database. These aspects have the following advantages for Passion Values: The number of listed assets, the quality of the data and analyses, and the chance to respond quickly to market changes and grow with the market.

    Wine-Stocks has currently completed the development of its own independent data-to-text machine application. At www.wine-stocks.com and www.wine-stocks.de, all words without pictures are automatically generated by the databases and can theoretically be transferred to any desired database in the world. This system, of course, will also be available on all other Passion Values web applications.

  2. BARRIERS TO ENTRY FOR COMPETITORS

    The barriers to copying the activities of Passion Values and its individual databases are high to very high. The position of Passion Values on the market is relatively secure.

    This is an area in which the first-mover advantage plays a significant role: There is little incentive for a competitor to enter the market as the efforts of Passion Values have set the barriers to entry at a very high level. There are six different hurdles that must be cleared in order for a company to successfully establish itself on the market for price analyses of real assets. Each of these hurdles has its own level of difficulty, ranging from difficult to extremely difficult. The necessary combination of individual factors is crucial to success and protects Passion Values from simply being copied by the competition. The estimated €10-15m capital expenditure (necessary for employing specialists in order to copy Passion Values) and the fact that Passion Values will occupy a leading position on the market are further issues that will make this sector unattractive to outsiders. For this reason, the speed of the market launch and complete market penetration are among the core aims of the strategy in order to discourage followers and to exploit the comprehensive first-mover advantages.

  3. BARRIERS TO ENTRY IN DETAIL

    Barriere Stacheldraht
    1. DATABASE EXPERTISE AND SECURITY

      Sound specialist knowledge of database programming is a basic requirement in order to ensure the necessary performance of the web application, establish suitable security standards, and thereby protect the databases from attacks. Passion Values has a unique and highly innovative solution to this issue.

    2. REQUIRED PROGRAMMING TIME

      The requirements for successful programming are just as demanding as the necessary technical requirements. The most recent changes on the web, especially in terms of the technical requirements, make it necessary to identify a new way of addressing this topic. This is where the solutions offered by Passion Values differ considerably from those of our existing competitors. Our web applications have been built in line with the latest web standards. We estimate that it would take 80,000 hours to bring a comparable solution to market.

    3. REQUIREMENT FOR SPECIALISTS

      In the wine sector, there are currently around 170 master sommeliers around the world who boast the necessary knowledge of the fine wine market. Under optimum conditions, this knowledge would be required for the purpose of developing the sophisticated algorithms. These specialists currently occupy important positions. Outsiders must invest significant financial resources in order to use the services of this small elite group. Without this knowledge, it is practically impossible for followers to bring a comparable solution to market. The same applies for classic cars, watches, jewelry, and other goods; with regard to wines, however, it is essential to have received a comprehensive education on the necessary topics at minimum (Dipl. Sommelier [a Bachelor's-level sommelier qualification], wine academics, Master Sommelier, Master of Wine). This well-founded education is not available in other sectors, making it necessary to identify self-taught experts who are willing to spend a number of years programming the databases. Without the right structure and several additional and highly creative solutions within the individual concepts, the implementation process would be close to impossible.

    4. ALGORITHMS

      The most difficult aspect to copy is the matching service offered by Passion Values. We are the only ones who are in a position to take the various goods, featuring names and descriptions from all languages around the world, and allocate them to the correct items. In the wine sector alone, we currently talk of there being more than '500 million different wines' that must be uniquely allocated. The solutions were developed specially for the site over a number of years and therefore form part of our in-house expertise. This knowledge is an important company secret.

    5. COPYRIGHT

      A difficult aspect when establishing the competitive advantage of the 'first mover' is building up a brand with leading indexes, logos, website names, etc. In the case of Wine-Stocks, we secured the copyright for the most important names and websites at an early stage, thereby presenting followers with another hurdle. We own all Internet domains relating to Passion Values and other similar domains (now over 130 in total).

    6. SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION

      On the web, being found by Google has become a basic requirement. Wine-Stocks is already among the top results that are returned when using Google's German site to search for the most important sector-specific keywords – and we haven't even started the process of search engine optimization yet. Even when constructing the website, we performed the necessary programming to enable optimum performance in terms of having search engines find and pick out the site. We will invest additional effort in order to perfect the process of search engine optimization, which will relegate our existing competitors further down the list and make it more difficult for subsequent competitors to enter the market. cars-classic.com, watches-prices.com, and other sites that are necessary for forming a network are already online and are regularly searched and classified by search engines. However, this only applies to German-speaking countries. In our real target market, namely English-speaking countries, we are yet to achieve visibility.

    7. APPROVAL AND SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF CSSF LUXEMBOURG INSPECTION

      Logo CSSF

      In the last two years, CSSF Luxembourg has carried out a very intensive inspection of the database. PricewaterhouseCoopers, Risk Management International, and Banque Privée Edmond de Rothschild Luxembourg have inspected the tool and awarded it the first ever approval for an internationally-recognized ranking and evaluation tool for wine funds. This should mean that, in the foreseeable future, all wine funds from around the world will be subject to evaluation and ranking. This will provide a sound assessment of added value, which is often viewed very optimistically by the manager of the fund in question, in addition to protecting investors and enabling realistic accounting. This service will cost at least €12,000 a year for all funds worldwide; new funds in Europe will only be provided with tools for risk management, corporate consultancy, and ranking. The Rothschild bank alone has stated that it looks after more than 50 wine funds, for example. If the services of our databases prove to be reliable, we will be ranking all wine funds in the medium term. It is expected that our other web applications for classic cars, watches, and all other Passion Values will be awarded the same approval. The fees from this new segment alone could enable us to reach the 'break even' point with a reduced marketing budget and personnel base.