Cult Wines said it has completed seed fundraising totalling around £1.7m, attracting fresh investment from a diverse range of individuals, including Formula One racing driver Valtteri Bottas and former Moët Hennessy CEO and chairman Christophe Navarre.
Chris Jones, former Blackrock CIO of Global Active Equities, and Reda Bedjaoui, founder of fintech firm Privat 3 Money, have also taken part in the funding round.
Navarre and Jones will join the Cult Wines board as strategic advisors, said the business. The specific amounts invested by different individuals weren’t disclosed.
Funds will support Cult Wines’ growth strategy, such as by helping it to ‘scale’ its recently launched CultX digital trading platform, as well as general investment in technology and data, the group said.
Tom Gearing, Cult Wines CEO and co-founder, said, ‘As we continue to innovate and expand our global footprint, we remain dedicated to unlocking the full potential of wine as an asset class by investing into technology, robust data and innovative solutions that address the complexities inherent in wine ownership and trading.’
Bottas, who currently drives for the Alfa Romeo F1 team, has been a long-standing Cult Wine Investment client prior to becoming an investor in the company, the business said.
‘Investing in Cult Wines was a natural extension of my love of wine,’ Bottas said.
Navarre said he saw great potential in Cult Wines, which he described as a disruptive force in the industry. ‘I believe Cult Wines will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the fine wine market,’ he said.
Bedjaoui, already a client of Cult Wines, has also become an investor. He recently launched a securities trading app and holds a strong interest in leveraging the potential of alternative assets, Cult said.
Founded in 2007, Cult Wines said gross sales revenue – prior to deduction of selling costs – rose by 32% in 2022 to reach £90m.
Its Cult Wine Investment platform currently manages £290m-worth of fine wine assets, which is up 45% year-on-year, it said.