Need seed capital?; GrubHub and Wine 2.0

Meliza Solan Surdi · March 28, 2009 · Short URL:

What am I Missy; Episode 14

Attention early-stage startups. Are you seeking a small amount of funding? If you live in the Big Apple or Boston, then Spark Capital is right up your alley. New York-based Spark Capital will put seed capital into startups through a new program called Start@Spark. What's the criteria? You have to be a startup focused on media, tech, and entertainment. If the partners like you, they will invest a standard quarter million loan that will convert to equity at your next round of financing at a 20% discount. Is it a good deal? The only thing I can say is, at least they're spending. 

See: Spark Capital starts seed-stage investing

Tired of the old pizza delivery service? Want to know who else delivers? Try GrubHub, a company that lets you find takeout delivery meals. The Chicago-based company raised $2 million for essentially a takeout delivery directory. This is great news for those hard-charging work-aholics. What's more, you don't have to read the fine print on a Web site about whether a restaurant delivers. The trick for GrubHub is building an audience. I mean when you think of takeout delivery, Grubhub doesn't exactly come to mind. 

See: GrubHub gets fed some cash

The winner of the Wine 2.0 Vator contest will be announced on April 2. It's an exciting time for these companies especially since last year's winner went on to raise $9 million. This year's champion will have a one hour session with each judge. Judges are VCs and a few big names in the media industry. So far, Vinobilia, an educational wine site for consumers is leading the way. Behind them is Bibola, an online platform to buy wines. And following them is Curiosk, a site that lets consumers create a personalized touch to the bottle. Good luck to all. Cheers to our future winner!

See: Wine 2.0 competition drawing to a close

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Wine 2.0


Joined Vator on

Wine 2.0™ is the innovator in social networking and events in the wine industry. With a focus on the next generation wine consumer, Wine 2.0 breaks down the barriers to learning about, experiencing, and enjoying wine. Wine 2.0 events feature a rich diversity of world class wines and the newest generation of emerging technology companies, services and communication tools that are changing the world of wine.



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The Vinogram™’s 12 flavor and aroma criteria are a revolutionary promotion tool for your wines. The intuitive visual aspect is quickly and easily understood, breaking language barriers. If you are looking to export increase sales, you’ve got a new secret weapon. Learn more

Internet Presence and Advertising

Exporting your wine has become an obvious necessity. But the big question remains. How do you get buyers and consumers abroad to see yourproducts? We provide visibility with our innovative communication, presentation and GPS tools.

Curiosk Marketing Solutions Inc.


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Curiosk is redefining the way people shop for, buy, give, receive and enjoy wine and spirits. Installing a Curiosk touchscreen kiosk lets wine & liquor retailers enhance customer service, increase basket size, achieve store differentiation,  provide a value added product and turn browsers into buyers. The Curiosk product and process is an innovative and informative, creative and convenient retailing solution.


How does it work?

Simply scan the barcode label to receive product information such as; tasting notes, food pairing notes, serving recommendations and cellaring guidelines. Then use the touchscreen to personalize and a print a greeting card. The patents pending card containing both the product information and the personal message, prints at the kiosk and is designed to fit over the neck of the bottle. It is the ultimate greeting card.


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There are three aspects of  Left Bank LLC, dba America Uncorked and, which sells great value imported wine:

1.  Business-to-business -- America Uncorked

2.  On-line direct to consumer, wine clubs --

3.  Creation of proprietary wine brands that will be sold business-to-business and on-line direct-to the consumer at a high margin -- creates a solid equity base

America Uncorked sells great value imported wines to the trade on a national level.  The wineries in the America Uncorked portfolio keep inventory in the USA at their own expense with no risk to America Uncorked.

In addition to selling to the trade, America Uncorked sells its wines to, a sister company, on a just-in-time basis.  Most wines retail for between $ 12 and $ 20 per bottle. then pays America Uncorked within 30 days after upfront credit card transactions for the sales are received.  Again there is no need to invest in inventory because purchases are made just-in-time.   The businesses are vertically integrated in that one aspect of the business sells to another aspect of the business earning the highest margins possible.

A third aspect of the business is to create and launch proprietary "Bibola" brands to be sold through the national trade and on-line through has various wine clubs, based on subscrpition memberships.  Most club members receive six bottles delivered quarterly.   Discounts are granted to wine club members as incentives to join.  There are no fees for joining. 

"Bibola" is the founders "alter ego", and is a cartoon character who tells her story of years in the international wine industry. is a whimsical, visually entertaining site with lots of personality and offers a very fun and educational shopping experience.

The portfolio will be expanded to offer new producers from around the world, including domestic wineries and proprietary brands, and will also add own brand tea, olive oil, chocolate and other complimentary gourmet products.