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Name: Francesco Magro
What are you building, and who benefits most from it?
Winelivery’s main service is the home delivery of wines, beers, cocktails, and spirits, as well as snacks and ice, all delivered in less than 30 minutes and at the perfect temperature for tasting. It is a very convenient service, a real evening saver for those who find themselves without something to drink at home, but it is also a very popular system for those who need to send a last-minute gift or get invited to a dinner party and don’t want to arrive empty-handed.
We are already present in over 60 cities in Italy and have a wide range of products, so we can satisfy both those who are looking for an affordable bottle and those looking for a fine tipple.
What is one of your startup’s most impressive accomplishments?
We have reached over 1 million app downloads. To have already reached more than 2% of the Italian population is an incredible result for a startup that’s only a few years old, and it is something we did not think we would achieve so soon.
What has been the biggest challenge so far, and how did you overcome it?
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The biggest challenge we faced was having to grow in a capital-intensive industry such as delivery. The solution we adopted was the franchising formula, which allowed us to do rapid territorial expansion without a big cash burn.
What tool or app could you not live without and why?
Google Sheets. We use it to measure all actions, and it allows us to fully understand the domain of activities, connecting all our systems.
What marketing strategies have worked for you?
The pandemic brought us many more customers than a startup can usually manage in a few years. This clearly translated into a customer retention strategy even at the end of the lockdown, and the CRM system played a key role in this.
What’s the best specific piece of advice you have for other entrepreneurs?
Don’t look for ideas, look for problems to solve, and once you find the solution, take risks. It is important to be able to tolerate uncertainty and deal with chance. The decisions you make, especially at an early stage, are unlikely to be understood by the masses, who will often mock you and hardly give you any real support. You have to adapt to uncomfortable situations and change, devoting yourself to your project and not giving up at the first difficulties.
What does your company’s trajectory look like over the next five years?
Both in terms of sales channels and logistics, we are certain that the future will hold surprises for us. Thanks to new technologies, there is a real possibility that the perimeter of the sector will be completely redefined.
Regarding the current model, I think we are in a post-pandemic consolidation phase where volumes have exploded. After a short slowdown, I expect new growth that will increase the size of the market. Looking at the data, the European delivery market still has a population penetration rate an order of magnitude lower than highly advanced markets such as South Korea.
In the meantime, for the next development cycle, we have the goal of taking our brand “out of home” by launching a chain of wine bars and wine shops with the aim of having more than 60 within 36 months.
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