Wine Folly and Global Wine Database Merge to Create the World’s Preeminent Wine Content and Data Company: Folly Enterprises Inc.
CALGARY, SEATTLE, April. 3rd, 2019 – BlackSquare Inc. (BlackSquare or the Company) is pleased to announce that the Company has entered into a definitive arrangement agreement with Wine Folly LLC (Wine Folly) under which BlackSquare, through a wholly-owned subsidiary, GWDB Inc. (Global Wine Database or GWDB) will merge with Wine Folly to create Folly Enterprises Inc. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter, 2019 following normal course due diligence requirements and board/shareholder approval.
Folly Enterprises is Tackling The Ontology of Wine with Big Data
GWDB and Wine Folly will combine efforts to create a new wine information platform. The platform, built with GWDB technology, will be tasked with collecting, creating, and maintaining a centralized knowledge base of global wine information directly from producers. Wine Folly will design the interface for the human experience of the wine information.
David Gluzman, a co-founder of BlackSquare, has been named Folly Enterprises CEO and will run the new company alongside Madeline Puckette, co-founder of Wine Folly.
David has over 10 years direct experience in wine-related technology and over 20 years in technology development. David commented; “GWDB was founded because we had identified that accurate, consistent wine information was completely lacking in the global wine trade. GWDB solved that problem in conjunction with producers and some of the largest wine organizations globally.”
GWDB, founded in 2017, provides hundreds of data points per wine, all from information sourced solely from wine producers. That level of data availability and accuracy, all provided via GWDB’s proprietary technology, has never before been available to consumers or industry trade.
Gluzman continued: “When we started our discussions with Madeline and Wine Folly, it was clear the two organizations had to come together to usher in a new era for our industry. Together we hope to bring endless new possibilities to the wine world using big data and design communication.”
Tamlyn Currin summarized GWDB with: “Gone will be the need for dozens of people to populate dozens of databases, forms and documents, spending endless hours copying, pasting, printing, faxing, emailing, posting, and chasing queries. Upload data once. Drive the facts forward.” – Bytes of Wine (2018), JancisRobinson.com
Wine Folly, founded in 2011, is a content site devoted to wine knowledge and appreciation. Its mission is to allow people to gain a deeper understanding of wine by exploring all of the many facets. The intent of the site is that more people see wine not just as an adult beverage, but as a way to explore human experience.
Madeline Puckette is a well-respected wine personality who is certified with the Court of Masters Sommeliers and has a background in graphic design. Her work involves designing visual information systems to simplify wine education. Her book, Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine is a New York Times Bestseller. Additionally, she is a narrator in the hit wine documentaries, Somm: Into the Bottle and Somm 3. In April 2019, Puckette won Wine Communicator of the Year from the International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC).
About the merger, Puckette said “If there is one thing that plagues the wine industry – to its core – it is bad information. After seeing GWDB’s data model, I’m convinced this is the right direction for the global wine community. My goal is to help communicate this technical information to consumers, so that more people can learn about wine.”
Folly Enterprises is considering a financing round for continued growth of the combined platform in the near future.
Folly Enterprises: Engaging, informative & accurate wine information for the world.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org / www.follyinc.com
Left to right: Matthew Protti (CEO – BlackSquare), Madeline Puckette (Co-Founder – Folly Enterprises), Ben Andrews (Co-Founder – Folly Enterprises), David Gluzman (CEO – Folly Enterprises)
About BlackSquare Inc.
Founded in 2010, BlackSquare Inc.’s vision is a world where top global alcohol producers enjoy superior economics and consumers enjoy greater access to quality and exclusive products. Our mission is to help producers develop direct relationships with consumers by curating cross-border direct to consumer (DTC) experiences.
BlackSquare operates a number of business lines focusing on DTC sales, including ecommerce, third party logistics services, marketing and analytics. BlackSquare’s technology-enabled managed services help some of the largest alcohol producers and companies in the world sell their products efficiently to individuals in dozens of countries.
About GWDB Inc.
GWDB is a wine data repository and analytics platform built on wine producer sourced information. It’s the only global, producer verified source for wine data. GWDB has been working directly with wine and data experts around the world since 2017 to architect a scalable big data system specifically catered to the wine industry.
Wineries upload their information to GWDB free of charge and immediately benefit from a single resource to manage their winery and all their product information on a vintage by vintage basis. Third parties such as retailers, competitions, government, academia and other technology platforms can gain access via the GWDB API.
GWDB can create complete models and predictive systems to correlate massive amounts of data into useful conclusions, observations, predictions, and analytics for the global wine industry.
About Wine Folly LLC
Founded in 2011, Wine Folly is an engaging and educational platform that explores the topic of wine. Winefolly.com hosts millions of visitors each month and offers tips, articles, infographics, videos, and products to help people navigate the wine world. The site has received accolades from the International Wine and Spirits Competition in 2013 and 2019 and ranks in the top 10 most trafficked wine sites, with a top position on the topic of learning about wine.
Wine Folly’s content has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, NPR, Fast Company, and The Washington Post among others. The book, Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine, ranked #15 on New York Times Bestseller’s list for food and drink and was an Amazon Top 5 Cookbook in 2015.
CALGARY & OTTAWA, CANADA – June 8, 2017 – The Canadian Vintners Association (CVA) and Global Wine Database (GWDB Inc.) are proud to announce the largest and most comprehensive online database of Canadian wineries and wines: www.wine411.ca. The online database, launched two years ago, featuring every winery in Canada, now catalogues 5,500 Canadian wines, complete with tasting notes, suggestions of other vintages and similar wines, as well as food pairings, in one seamless online experience. This is the first time all wines produced in Canada have been available in one location.
Launched as a joint initiative between CVA and GWDB Inc. to bolster winery tourism, the partners now hope Wine411.ca will increase consumer and global trade knowledge of Canadian wines, as well as encourage more winery sales.
The Canadian wine industry is undergoing tremendous growth, with the number of wineries having doubled within the last decade. The grape wine industry has a national economic impact valued at $9 billion annually, and number of visitors to Canadian wineries has risen to almost 4 million each year, and yet there was no national database of all of Canada’s wines.
“The diversity of wines made across Canada is exceptional,” said Dan Paszkowski, President and CEO of the Canadian Vintners Association. “This comprehensive resource will allow consumers and industry professionals to discover their preferred wine styles and grape varietals, now integrated into Wine411.ca”.
Wine411.ca is built on Canadian technology from GWDB Inc. which allows all Canadian wine producers to control and manage their winery and wine information themselves. This is the first time globally that wine producers can take control of their information and wine consumers can get accurate, producer-driven data. Wine411.ca should be first stop for media, trade, government and consumers to get Canadian wine information.
“For years, even basic wine data has been unreliable. Global Wine Database takes an entirely new approach by giving the producers the power to control the facts about their individual wines as well as their brands. GWDB’s powerful database and extensive API allows for apps, retailers, government, media and the general public to find the facts quickly and accurately” said David Gluzman, President of GWDB Inc.
Quick facts about Wine411.ca as of today:
- 100,000 visitors annually and growing
- Over 700 Canadian wineries
- Over 5,500 Canadian wines
- 139 wine varieties grown across Canada
- Wineries are in control of the data
- Consumers can get the most up-to-date information on the largest number of wines available in Canada
- 100% free for consumers and producers
Wineries can login to GWDB today and update all their information and all their wines (including past vintages) for free by signing up at www.GWDB.io.
Media and trade can apply for exclusive early access to GWDB’s global wine data by reaching out to the team through www.GWDB.io.
About the joint project partners:
The Canadian Vintners Association (CVA) is the national voice of the Canadian wine industry, representing more than 90% of Canada’s annual wine production. CVA members are engaged in the entire wine value chain from grape growing, farm management, grape harvesting, research, wine production, bottling, retail sales and tourism. www.canadianvintners.com
GWDB Inc., based in Calgary, developed the Global Wine Database which powers Wine411.ca and is a subsidiary of BlackSquare Inc, the most innovative ecommerce provider tailoring for direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales in the global wine and beer industry. BlackSquare powers efficient, cost-effective DTC sales for wine-producing clients on four continents. www.gwdb.io
Manager, Programs & Regulatory Affairs
Canadian Vintners Association
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 19, 2017
Sonoma, California: BlackSquare Inc. announces an exciting opportunity for U.S. wineries wanting to ship wine direct to consumers (DTC) around the world. The announcement was shared to a standing room only audience at the Direct to Consumer Wine Symposium last week in Concord, California.
“International DTC represents a giant leap forward for direct sales. Unlocking even just one new country, such as Canada, can mean upwards of a 20% growth for U.S. wineries by selling to those who previously it was too costly to sell to. We’re very excited to enable U.S. wineries to reach their fans across the world.” says David Gluzman, President and Co-Founder of BlackSquare Inc.
International Direct to Consumer is now available for U.S. wineries interested in shipping to Canada, China, and Australia with other countries becoming available in later 2017.
With partners around the world and working completely within the traditional three tier system, BlackSquare is enabling the sale of goods in local currencies and with local shipping options. This is exciting news for both producers and consumers who will no longer need to deal with paperwork for duties, taxes and laws when attempting to ship internationally. The opportunity for wineries to embrace tourists in the same way as local domestic consumer will change the face of DTC sales globally.
BlackSquare Inc. is a global provider of direct to consumer (DTC) wine and beer business solutions. Founded in 2010, BlackSquare specializes in offering a wide-array of DTC strategies from enhancing foot-traffic sales, ecommerce, global direct to consumer sales to launching a social media campaign, and everything in-between. The co-founders of BlackSquare, Matthew Protti and David Gluzman, are also the co-founders of the WineCollective Group, the largest independent online alcoholic ecommerce player in Canada and which comprises the WineCollective.ca, Tannic.ca, CanadaCraftClub.ca and Highfield brands.
Global Program Director
Australia’s Schild Estate Wines Launches Direct-to-Consumer Canada in Partnership with Wine Collective Inc.
October 6, 2016
(Calgary, AB) Starting October 2016, Schild Estate Wines will be servicing the Canadian market in a new and innovative way.
Schild Estate Wines is a family-owned, Barossa Valley vineyard that strives to provide consumers with the highest value products in terms of origin, quality, environment and community. Schild Estate Wines have been represented in the Alberta market for over 10 years by the dedicated team at Artisan Wines, allowing Canadians to experience some of the best the Barossa has to offer.
This October, enabled by their ecommerce solutions provider, BlackSquare, and Canada’s largest monthly wine club, WineCollective, Schild Estate Wines is now able to offer more Schild varietals than ever before, direct to Canadian purchasers. This new innovative structure works within the existing regulatory framework in Alberta, and ensures that all Alberta liquor taxes and fees are paid in full.
Judy Schild, Sales and Brand Ambassador for Schild Estate Wines says they’re excited about the opportunity to enter the Canadian market in this new and unique way:
“We’re looking forward to sharing our passion and teaching Canadians about Australian varietals and wine making techniques. Making the wine available to them is only the first step.”
Matthew Protti, CEO of WineCollective says that this is a big step for the Canadian direct-to-consumer wine industry:
“It gives producers the opportunity to sell their products internationally, something that has been difficult in the past. We’re excited to have this new model which works with both producers and importers to bring new and unique wine to Canadians.”
David Luetkehoelter, President/Owner at Artisan Wines is happy to be working with WineCollective and Schild to enable this opportunity:
“We continually look for new ways to bring awareness to the brands in our portfolio with passion and integrity. This new channel is advantageous for importers, producers and all customers. We look forward to Schild’s successful launch of their club in Canada.”
To participate in the Calgary and Edmonton launch event, please see details below.
October 12, 2016
5:30 – 7:30 pm
Gerry Thomas Art Gallery
602 11 Ave SW
Tickets can be purchased here
October 13, 2016
6:00 – 8:00 pm
11613 87 Ave NW
Lister Centre – Glacier Room
University of Alberta
Tickets can be purchased here
About the partners:
WineCollective picks the best wines for our wine club members. We seek out the best wines available within the Alberta liquor wholesale market and once the wines have been tasted, rated, reviewed and selected by our professional staff, we work with our retail store (Highfield) to fulfill all the monthly orders and gifts. WineCollective does all the work in order for you to enjoy the spoils. A professionally curated selection of wine that shows up on your doorstep, once per month.
Schild Estate Wines
Since 1952, the Schild family have lived and worked in the Southern Barossa, growing grapes and creating wines with authenticity and passion, from real Barossa earth, in a place they call home. Moorooroo Limited Release Shiraz is a wine that represents everything the family hold dear. The wine has historical significance, it is a variety the Barossa is best known for and it comes from a vineyard cared for by generations of Barossa families. History, wine and family are the backbone of the Schild brand and that is what has kept our customers so loyal to the Schild Estate brand. Schild takes pleasure in sharing their heritage with their customers because they feel more connected with the Barossa and the people who live there. In turn this enables them to appreciate more thoroughly the wine they are drinking.
Built on the foundations of people, passion and integrity, Artisan Wines has built an impressive portfolio that showcases notable wines from around the world. With something for everyone, the team is dedicated to connecting customers, the cornerstone of their success, to quality product while delivering exceptional service.
Melbourne, AUS, – June 14th, 2016: BlackSquare and Vintrace are excited to announce the first in a series of country-wide events showcasing the technological trends and product solutions available to the wine industry. Along with guest speakers from Xero, providers of online accounting software and HootSuite, a global provider of social media management software, the event entitled “Navigating the Ecosystem of Technology for the Wine Industry” is open to all members of Australia’s wine industry and will take place on July 7th from 9 am – 1 pm at the beautiful Yering Station vineyard in the Yarra Valley.
“Along with our partner, Vintrace, I am extremely excited to be sponsoring this showcase, which will bring the best-of-breed technology businesses for the wine industry under one roof. From production planning to social media and everything in between, this event will truly have something for everyone.” said Matthew Protti, BlackSquare’s CEO and co-founder. “I am also thrilled to have the opportunity to present one of BlackSquare’s newest products, the Global Wine Database (www.gwdb.io), a centralized, verified data source for wine producers to input data for use in third party applications all over the world.”
“This event will provide an opportunity to analyze insights and global trends and learn how they affect the Australian wine industry” said Josh Abra, Operations Director and co-founder of Vintrace. “Ideally suited to owners/managers, winemakers and sales and marketing, this event will have something for everyone and will be an invaluable opportunity for industry professionals to network with both their peers and the leaders in innovation for wine industry technology solutions”.
Tickets to the event include morning refreshments and a catered lunch at Yering Station vineyard. Those interested in purchasing tickets, should visit http://bit.ly/1UxIQ5Y
About the partners:
BlackSquare Inc. is a expert, global provider of direct-to-consumer (DTC) wine and beer business solutions. Founded in 2010, BlackSquare specializes in offering a wide-array of DTC strategies from enhancing foot-traffic sales to launching a social media campaign, and everything in-between. The co-founders of BlackSquare, Matthew Protti and David Gluzman, are also the co-founders of WineCollective, the largest growing monthly wine club in Canada as well as a slew of other wine and spirits based businesses and products including Tannic, Canada Craft Club, Highfield and Global Wine Database.
Vintrace is a global provider of Cloud based production software to more than 300 wineries worldwide. The Vintrace platform provides for vineyard, cellar, lab, inventory and warehouse management with key integrations to accounting and eCommerce platforms such as Xero and BlackSquare. Vintrace was founded in 2006 and was the first commercially available Cloud production solution to the global wine industry. Based in Melbourne, the co-founders continue to innovate adopting new mobile App technology for use by winemakers in the vineyard, cellar and warehouse.
For more information or to schedule an interview please contact:
Christina Crowe, Media Relations – BlackSquare Inc.
+61 2 8607 8988
Joshua Abra, Co-founder – Vintrace
+61 421 808 939
Edmonton, Canada – The Accelerate Fund is proud to announce the closing of a funding round in BlackSquare Inc., the creator of Blackboxx, a specialized eCommerce platform solution for the wine industry.
Using Blackboxx, wine producers can offer a direct-to-consumer eCommerce solution that handles the complexity of regulatory and compliance reporting, with marketing tools that improve customer engagement and enable recurring revenue streams.
“As consumers, we have all become comfortable with eCommerce,” says Martin Vetter, General Partner and Director of the Accelerate Fund, an early-stage, angel co-investment fund managed by AVAC Ltd. “But the regulatory complexity of the global wine industry requires a different solution. The way in which BlackSquare delivers value to both producers and consumers makes this an exciting venture for the Accelerate Fund to be invested in.”
“We are excited to announce this new investment from Accelerate Fund and our angel investors,” said Matthew Protti, CEO and Co-Founder of BlackSquare. “This funding will allow us to continue to innovate in an industry vertical which requires unique solutions. With products such as Blackboxx and the Global Wine Database, we’re enabling technological change in what has been a traditional industry.”
BlackSquare is in market in North America, Australia, Asia and Europe, and has major wine producers realizing substantial ROI advantages over generic and in-house custom eCommerce solutions. The funding from the Accelerate Fund, along with investment from many existing investors, will enable BlackSquare to expand the existing business, including into beer and spirits, and development of the Global Wine Database.
To learn more about the Accelerate Fund, please visit www.AccelerateFund.ca. To learn more about BlackSquare, please visit www.BlackSquare.io.
For more information or to schedule an interview please contact:
Christina Crowe, Media Relations – BlackSquare Inc.