Uber brought us ride sharing. Airbnb brought us apartment sharing. Now, Casemates is here to bring us wine sharing.
Casemates is a community united by a desire to save money on great wines. The idea is simple:
- An “originator” starts an order for a case.
- People can submit bids to split that case.
- The case is shipped to the originator, who then coordinates with the selected bidder to arrange a pickup.
Casemates will launch this January as a community that’s already 1,800 members strong. Its Kickstarter campaign has already been met by overwhelming demand, beating its funding goal by over 2X to raise $120,000. Post-launch, Casemates’ focus will be on quickly expanding its offerings and case-sharing capabilities.
“We’ll be working on obtaining larger discounts on cases for customers as we grow,” says founder Matt Rutledge. At the start, Casemates will allow for 2-, 6-, and 12-bottle orders, with $8-12 shipping per order.
“Case splitting on the website will also evolve over time,” says Rutledge. Does the idea of having to pick up a case of wine from a stranger sound weird? Rest assured that Casemates vets its community via forums and profiles. Another way to think about it: millions of us entrust ourselves to the houses or cars of complete strangers each month via sharing services like Airbnb or Lyft. By comparison, a 5-minute meeting with a stranger to pick up wine seems like a far less risky endeavor. Those concerned about revealing their address could choose to meet in public areas.
Casemates is an innovation surprisingly born out of destruction. Its founders, Matt Rutledge and David Studdert, are the masterminds behind Wine.Woot. Wine.Woot was one of the first businesses empowering wineries to sell directly to consumers. It was so successful that it was acquired by Amazon. Unfortunately, after Amazon also acquired Whole Foods, it legally had to shut down this winery-direct marketplace.
Now, Rutledge is determined to create something even better. While Wine.Woot was a community of wine lovers, Casemates will be a community engaged on a much deeper level, splitting and discovering cases of wine together.
Given such strong early demand, we’re positive Rutledge is on to something. Casemates already has plenty of pre-existing winery relationships from the Wine.Woot business, setting it up for a strong start. It will be fascinating to see how “wine sharing” evolves over time with customer usage and feedback. To learn more, visit Casemates.com.
Photo courtesy of Casemates.