Millennials are tired of being drunk, but they are part of a culture that puts alcohol at the center of professional events and non-work meetings. Twenty-Somethings in New York and San Francisco don't want to spend $ 17 on a gin and tonic for a mandatory happy hour. For this reason, Haus, a new aperitif startup for private customers, debuts with its membership program.
Co-founder Helena Price Hambrecht and Woody Hambrecht, who are married, I also saved $4.5 million seed funding to fuel their offer for a casual and less alcohol-oriented party, starting with a 15 percent aperitif with citrus and flower flavors. For comparison: Most schnapps contain between 35 and 45% alcohol. Wine averages 11.6%.
US members can now sign up for a monthly delivery of either six bottles per month for $ 144, two bottles per month for $ 63, or one bottle per month for $ 35. Unlike most wine clubs, you can become a member for free. House will also launch a wholesale initiative with bars and restaurants in New York, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle and Denver.
The idea for Haus was the idea of the founders to create a transparent alcohol brand or “Glossier for Spirit”, notes Helena, a veteran of the Silicon Valley brand. Woody, an experienced winemaker, identified a void that allows retailers to deliver alcohol directly to consumers when the product is mostly grape and less than 24% alcohol. A drink can not only be distributed directly to buyers, but also with transparency, including ingredients and nutritional information. This allows house to collect User data that large alcohol companies simply do not have.
"Antiquated liquor laws have hampered liquor innovations since the ban, although today's drinkers want something different," Price Hambrecht says. "Direct sales to the drinker means that we can build relationships with our customers, iterate quickly based on their feedback, and ultimately develop the products they want." So house was born.
Haus saw fundraising as an opportunity to grow not only an early community of stakeholders, but also customers. Helena compares her fundraising process to a crowdfunding approach rather than a traditional VC round, to which more than 10 funds and 100 individual investors contribute. Raising capital meant crowdsourcing a community of people who believed in what they built and were ready to integrate it into their own networks. Some angels included Casey Neistat, former CEO and Chairman of Campari Gerry Ruvo, Away co-founder Jen Rubio, Superhuman founder Rahul Vohra, and Yelp co-founder Russell Simmons.
Contributing funds include Combine, Haystack Ventures, Homebrew, Shrug Capital, Resolute Venture-Partner, Coatue, Dream Machine and Work Life Ventures.
Subscriptions work when customers develop habits. Haus plans to maintain its community around the trendy party drink with discounts and events that will be underpinned by editorial content in the future. However, what the founders really do is change their lifestyle.
In "The Art of the Gathering" Priya Parker argues that in our modern society we have lost the ability to refine targeted events. In the end, we gather in a way that doesn't really serve us, and we don't connect in the way that we should. It doesn't matter whether it's a boring dinner party that doesn't focus on the guests or a dreaded happy hour after a long day at work.
It is not yet clear whether aperitifs can convince wine and spirits lovers in the macro area. But Haus believes that with a trendy product and a highly engaged community, they can use this gap to change the way we gather. Starting with how we drink.