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Investment start-up Vint offers shares in Napa 2018 ‘collection’

A US start-up that allows prospective investors to purchase shares in collections of famous wines has launched a new offer around the Napa Valley 2018 vintage...

Vint said yesterday (17 November) that it has launched a $142,000 collection of Napa Valley 2018 wines, offering a ‘$50-a-share buy-in’ for prospective investors.

It’s the latest offering from the US-based start-up, which specialises in offering US Securities & Exchange Commission-qualified (SEC) shares in collections of leading wine names.

Vint said the Napa collection includes Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 and Kapscandy’s Grand Vin State Lane Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, among others.

Figures on Vint’s website showed that less than half of the initial 2,840 shares remained available for sale at the time of writing.

Shares can only be purchased by US-based investors at present, and no single investor is allowed to buy more than 20% of a collection, according to Vint’s terms.

Recent offerings have included a $137,000 collection of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti wines, which sold out after Vint offered 5,480 shares at $25 each.

‘Collections have sold out anywhere from 20 minutes to two weeks, with the median time being less than a day,’ Vint’s CEO, Nick King, told Decanter prior to the Napa offering.

It’s early days for the company, founded in 2019, although last week it announced it had raised $1.7m in a ‘pre-seed’ funding round led by Fintech Ventures.

Vint says wines are sourced from a mixture of ‘well-vetted’ wineries, merchants, auction houses and exchanges, and are insured and store professionally, including with Octavian and Domaine.

‘About 90% of our wine is stored in the UK,’ said King, who works alongside the firm’s head of wine, Billy Galanko, and industry consultants to decide on themes for collections.

‘Once sourced, we file some paperwork with the SEC and once we’re qualified anybody can go and buy shares of these collections,’ King said.

The model has partly been made possible by regulatory changes in recent years in the US. ‘We spent eight months working with the SEC, going back and forth, to create a platform that allows people to see the collection they’re investing in, see the data efficiently [and] diversify into SEC-qualified shares,’ King said.

‘We’re seeing this democratisation of different types of asset classes,’ he added.

While some might see the pure-investment model as too far removed from the wine itself, King said the idea was to make wine investment more accessible. ‘People have been doing this for hundreds of years,’ he said. ‘We just want to make it available to everybody.’ King added that Vint is also working on educational content and tasting offerings.

In terms of selling the collections, King said the company is in contact with major auction houses and merchants. At present, ‘the estimated hold is three to seven years,’ he said.

Just like with more traditional wine investment methods, however, there is of course no guarantee of a profit. ‘We never promise returns,’ said King, although he highlighted the fine wine market’s track record of delivering ‘stable portfolio diversification’.

Updated 24/11/2021

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