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An on-demand alcohol delivery company just raised $4.5 million

An on-demand alcohol delivery company just raised $4.5 million



By Max Taves

September 1, 2015

Saucey expands beyond California roots as Silicon Valley-backed startups try bringing the liquor store to you.


You can get almost anything on-demand: Weed, cars, massage therapists. Now booze is just the latest thing Silicon Valley believes consumers want to order via app.


Meet Saucey: Its drivers bring you the booze you just ordered on the company’s smartphone app.


Since launching in Los Angeles in May 2014, Saucey has been bringing booze-on-demand to customers in the LA area, San Francisco and San Diego. It delivers everything from a six-pack of Budweiser to a bottle of Pinot or a handle of Jameson, and even supplies like margarita mix and Tabasco sauce.


Now it has $4.5 million in new investment to help quench people’s thirst in more American cities, including Chicago, which began deliveries Tuesday. Dallas, you’re next.


Saucey is only the latest example of Silicon Valley’s race to deliver everything possible at the push of a button. Sometimes called the “concierge” or “on-demand” economy, and popularized by the success of ride-sharing giant Uber, venture capitalists continue pouring money into startups promising to deliver a dizzying array of more products and services.


After increasing their investments in on-demand startups by sixfold last year, venture capitalists are on pace to out-do themselves, according to CB Insights. The venture capital research firm has projected that investment this year in on-demand companies is on pace to more than double the $4.12 billion invested last year.


Beyond ride-sharing companies like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar, that pool of cash has funded startups that make consumption as convenient as humanly possible. There are now on-demand apps for doctors,lawyers, in-home caregivers and even barbers. There are companies specializing in bringing you medical marijuana within a half hour. In fact, Uber even experimented with quickly deploying kittens.


But to really get a sense of just how much Silicon Valley believes there’s a business in delivering booze to people’s homes, consider this: Saucey has competitors. As in: more than one.


There’s Drizly, which already operates in 15 cities. And there’s also Thirstie and MiniBar.


However, the number of competitors in the space isn’t slowing Saucey’s growth, says CEO Chris Vaughn.


He won’t say how many drinks his network of more than 450 drivers have delivered or how much revenue his company has generated. But Vaughn says that his company’s revenue has grown more than 25 percent every month since it launched last year.


And because demand has been so strong, says Vaughn, the independent liquor stores from which Saucey’s drivers pick up alcohol have also benefited. Saucey sales represent 40 percent of one liquor store’s bottomline while another store has opened a dedicated warehouse just to store extra booze for bound for Saucey customers.


“So many of our users are cooking dinner then halfway through they want a bottle of wine. It’s an impulsive thing,” said Vaughn. “Nobody ever says I want beer next Friday. They say, ‘I want it now.'”