French finance company WineFunding is, ostensibly, an online crowdfunding platform for projects in the wine industry. Browse its web page and you will find projects which have successfully attracted investment in French vineyards. But it is actually the company’s private finance deals, made offline, which generate the vast majority of its business.
WineFunding says it secured private wine finance deals worth more than €33m ($36.5m) from investors in 2018. In contrast, it has more than 20 crowdfunded online wine projects which are currently worth €3.5m. “Our crowdfunding business is just the tip of the iceberg,” says Maxime Debure, founder, CEO and majority shareholder of WineFunding. “Ninety per cent of our business is under the water.”