Raises $9 Million In Series D
Serial Entrepreneur And Investor Chris Kitze Leads Round; Company Expects Sustainable Profitability In Four Quarters

    San Francisco (ots) -, formerly eVineyard, Inc., has raised $9 million in the first close of its Series D financing, with an option to raise another $1 million before the round's second close in 60 days. This brings the total amount raised by the company to $39.8 million (not including the $200 million raised by the original, whose brand name and customers were acquired by eVineyard in 2001).

    The round was led by serial entrepreneur Chris Kitze, founder of Yaga, NBCi, and Point Communications (now Terra Lycos), and included new investors RoJaSi Venture Group and individual investors. Following the second close, Kitze will become chairman of

    This round is anticipated to be the last funding needed before the company turns profitable on an ongoing basis, said Peter Ekman, who joined the company as CEO in March 2002. Ekman, a veteran wine industry executive who most recently ran the worldwide wine and spirits business for LVMH's Duty Free Shops division, recently presided over's move from Portland, OR, to its current San Francisco headquarters.

    "The new is the sole survivor of the once-large crowd of online wine retailers tilting their swords at brick-and-mortar distributors," said Ekman. "Rather than fighting it, supports the three-tier distribution system that dominates the national wine & spirits industry. As such, we have an excellent relationship with our wholesalers through out the nation - which has contributed significantly to our dominant position." currently has 30 employees, which Ekman describes as a "mean and lean" operation. "It's amazing what you can accomplish when you have everyone in the company focused on their direct contribution to superior online wine retailing."

    About, formerly eVineyard, is the nation's leading online wine retailer. The Company sells premium wine in 27 states, reaching more than 75 percent of the US wine-consuming population, and sells wine gifts and accessories in all states. As the nation's only significant national wine retailer doing business exclusively via the Internet, offers an unparalleled selection of more than 5,000 domestic and imported premium wines and offers innovative promotions, loyalty programs, sweepstakes events and wine clubs.

    For more information on how to join or purchase wines, please contact customer service at (877) 289-6886, For wine trade inquiries, please contact John Hingley at The company's headquarters are at 114 Sansome St. 6th Fl., San Francisco, CA 94104.

ots Originaltext:

Xenia von Wedel
The Terpin Group
Phone: +1-650-344-4944 ext. 104

John Hingley

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