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WSWA Takes Stake In Alcohol Delivery Service Drizly

May 13, 2015

The Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) has acquired a minority stake in on-demand alcohol delivery provider Drizly. According to WSWA, the deal will help Drizly expand its retail partnerships across the country, as well as provide the e-commerce company with support in navigating the regulatory environment. The stake in Drizly—which both parties refer to as an enhancer of the three-tier system rather than a disruptor—gives the wholesaler group a place at the table as mobile technology continues to transform the retail environment.

The WSWA said the investment in Drizly does not change its longstanding stance against “interstate direct-to-consumer shipping of beverage alcohol shipped via common carrier.” The trade group asserts that Drizly’s model, which facilitates delivery through local retailers, is a different case because “licensed retailers … can be held accountable to comply with state and local laws and regulations.”

Launched in 2013, Drizly offers consumers the ability to order beer, wine and spirits online or via mobile app, and promises delivery within a 20-40 minute time frame. The Boston-based company currently operates in more than 15 cities across the U.S.—most recently launching in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota; Austin, Texas; and Providence, Rhode Island—and facilitates roughly 10,000 orders a month. Earlier this spring, Drizly announced that it had raised $4.8 million from a group of angel and institutional investors, intended to finance expansion efforts. Drizly told the Wall Street Journal it expects its system to handle more than $100 million in retail sales by the end of this year.

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