Venture capitalist and former First National Bank CEO Jordaan has announced that he is investing in bespoke online wine retailer Port2Port.
Jordaan is investing in Port2Port through his venture capital firm Montegray Capital and is set to become a director of the the “farm-to-door” online store.
Launched in January this year, Port2Port offers easy access to a curated catalogue of both South African and international wines. The brainchild of Vincent Bührer, owner of Saxenburg Wine Estate, and Nicolò Stortiglione Pudel, Managing Director of Pier2Pier, the platform offers a variety of features such as in-depth tasting notes and pairing suggestions for each wine; user-built mixed cases; farm profiles; a user rating and review system; and a “personal sommelier” feature, which tracks and analyses ordering habits, and offers suggestions based on preferences. It’s also added a selection of blended malt and grain Scotch whiskies plus luxury products like Russian caviar.
Reading an article Jordaan penned on Montegray.com humourously titled I Don’t Want Your Money, it’s evident that when Jordaan backs your company, it’s an auspicious sign. He writes: “In a way it’s easy to be a successful entrepreneur. Just come up with something completely new and make sure people are willing to pay for it. If you think you’ve got something sufficiently differentiated and need money to grow, I may be the one asking you for a cup of coffee or a glass wine. You see what I really want is to invest in a business poised for dramatic growth.”
And he’s serious about that glass of wine! He’s been Chair of industry association Wines of SA since May 2014, plus he’s a boutique wine producer. He and his wife Rose own a farm in Stellenbosch called Bartinney which has been awarded the Biodiversity & Wine Initiative (BWI) champion status. They also own the Bartinney Wine and Champagne Bar in town (Oude Bank Building, 5 Bird Street, +27 76 348 5374 or +27 71 250 5814).
“Having someone with Jordaan’s business acumen on board is an incredible boon to Port2Port. We’re going to use this investment to improve our warehousing, logistics and overall customer experience, both online and offline,” says Pudel. “We’ll also be evolving our platform, which we are constantly curating to include more custom products, as well as investing in greater marketing efforts and exposure.”
Bührer adds: “We believe that the experience and mentorship of Michael Jordaan will be of great value to the company, which is obviously rendered much easier through a shared passion for the products we list and plan to list in the future.”
The company aims to demystify the world of fine wine and whisky. Bührer says they “should no longer be mysterious commodities”.
“We would like to reward passion and interest for the art of wine-making and whisky blending with an insightful communication and highly interactive service, which is why we are so passionate about Port2Port,” he says.