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

    SAN FRANCISCO, CA (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."
    With the appointment of Swedish native and international retailer
Peter Ekman as CEO, has changed both its management team and
its focus. Ekman brings years of experience from global companies
such as Procter & Gamble and LVMH and is instilling the global nature
of successful retail operations into the business model. is actively looking for retail and distribution partners
worldwide. plans to roll out operations via such
partnerships in leading countries throughout Europe, Asia and
Oceania. For international retail and distribution partnerships,
please contact Ekman at
    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 +1/877/289'68'86, 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 +1/650/344'49'44 ext. 104

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