Agriculture & foodtech

Online Wine Club Winc Files For Bankruptcy As Direct-To-Consumer Stocks Get Hammered

Illustration of stemmed glassware and bottle of wine.

Winc, an online wine subscription service aimed at millennials that went public on the New York Stock Exchange last year, has filed for bankruptcy protection, according to multiple media reports. Shares of the Santa Monica, California-based company have declined 98% since its stock market debut.

Winc was founded in 2012 as Club W. The company, which sends customers customized wine shipments based on their tastes, raised a total of $54.2 million from venture investors including Bessemer Venture Partners, Shining Capital and Crosscut Ventures, according to Crunchbase data. 

It raised another $22 million in its November 2021 IPO amid a spike on online alcohol sales during the pandemic. Its market capitalization has hovered around $3.6 million lately — a fraction of its most recent private valuation of $112.3 million in late 2019.

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Winc filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection — which allows a company to keep operating as it reorganizes — listing $50.3 million in assets and $36.8 million in liabilities. The company generated $72.1 million in revenue last year, but never turned a profit.

Its largest unsecured creditor listed in bankruptcy filings, Bloomberg reported, is Facebook parent Meta, which is owed $724,000, presumably for online advertising.

Shares of consumer brands have been particularly hard hit this year amid stock market turmoil. Among them:

  • Shares of ​​The Honest Co., Jessica Alba’s consumer goods brand, have fallen about 84% since its May 2021 IPO.
  • Oat-milk maker Oatly went public in May 2021. Its shares are trading down about 93% since then.
  • Poshmark, a second-hand clothing marketplace, went public in early 2021. Its shares are down about 79% since then.
  • ThredUp, another used-clothing marketplace, has seen its shares decline 94% since its March 2021 IPO.
  • FIGS, which makes medical scrubs, went public in May 2021. Its shares are down about 76% since then.
  • Shares of clothing rental service Rent the Runway are down roughly 92% since the company’s October 2021 public market debut.

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Illustration: Dom Guzman

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