Lot18 is oft referred to as “the Gilt Group of the wine industry.” The beautifully executed site offers up epicurean delights from wine to fancy cheese and chocolates- all at a flash sales style discount- delivered to your door. Just recently, Lot18 launched a new Experience section offering wine and gourmet-themed travel excursions, exclusive dinners at Michelin-starred restaurants and other local and national packages designed to help Lot18 members indulge just a little bit more.
The party continues at Lot18, as the New York-based company today announced that it has completed a $30 million Series C financing led by Accel Partners. Sameer Gandhi, who led Accel’s investments in Bonobos, Spotify and StumbleUpon, will join Lot18’s board of directors. Lot18 says the funds will support its continued growth and help expand its imported wine program, particularly wines from Europe. The idea being, Lot18 wants to offer its members more wines that they can’t get anywhere else.
While other flash sales sites like Gilt Groupe’s Gilt Taste offer wine and gourmet foods too, Lot18′s deep focus on the wine industry has earned it the reputation of a first-class sommelier. In just one year, the New York City startup has grown to 90 employees, poaching some of the finest wine connoisseurs the city has to offer. In May, Lot 18 raised $10 million in a Series B funding round led by NEA Ventures and FirstMark Capital, who also led Lot18′s $3 million Series A round. In those 12 months of operations, Lot18 has attracted over 550,000 members and sold more than half a million bottles of wine.
At the helm of Lot18 is Kevin Fortuna, who was formerly the CEO of Quigo, an advertising technology company that was sold to AOL Time Warner for $360 million in November 2007 and Philip James (pictured above), who prior to founding Snooth Media “the IMBD for wine” in 2007, had sailed across the Atlantic, climbed Mt. Everest and graduated from Columbia’s Business School.
James likely won’t be uncorking too many bottles of wine just yet. This weekend, the Renaissance man will be running the New York City Marathon to support the Queens Center for Progress. You can make a donation here.