First Stage Investor

Update: Yahyn Looks Stronger Than Ever

Update: Yahyn Looks Stronger Than Ever
By Andy Gordon
Date September 24, 2020

We recommended Yahyn back in May. It lets you shop for your favorite bottles of wine online and have them shipped directly to your home. 

Whenever I talk to Yahyn Founder and CEO Pierre Rogers — like I did recently — he keeps telling me the same thing. “We REALLY focus on customer service.” 

Pierre says Yahyn’s customer-centric approach gives the company a win-win-win triple benefit advantage. The vineyards appreciate that their wine is being presented in the best light and NOT being foisted onto customers. It helps Yahyn build its customer base without a lot of churn. Customers like the user experience, the wine and the personal attention they get —  Yahyn doesn’t use chatbots on its site. 

And a focus on customer service fits perfectly with Yahyn’s emphasis on customization — giving each customer the wine he or she prefers. That’s not easy. Which is why Pierre is so excited about Yahyn’s new partnership with pioneering sensory science company Tastry. I’ll let Piere describe how Tastry will use AI to power Yahyn’s recommendation engine:

“Tastry has ‘taught a computer how to taste and smell’ to provide hyper-personalized product recommendations accurately. [It] pinpoints precisely consumers’ taste preferences based on Tastry’s unique process.”

As with several of our First Stage Investor companies, Yahyn’s business has actually taken off during the pandemic period. “COVID-19 has dumped rocket fuel on the business,” Pierre says. And the numbers back him up…

  • 7,200 SKU’s (it was 3,000 at the end of May)
  • 200 vineyards listed or about to be listed on their site (onboarding 1-5 vineyard a day)
  • Average of around 2,000 unique visitors visit the site every day
  • 100 new people signing up every day

But founders wouldn’t be behaving like founders if they didn’t have something to complain about. So with business booming, Pierre still thinks they can do better. “We’re not onboarding the vineyards as fast as we need to. It’s such a critical period for us to grow our business on both sides of the marketplace, we have to take maximum advantage.”

Founders also wouldn’t be behaving like founders if they weren’t convinced about the viability and timeliness of their business. “The industry has been waiting for someone to do what we’re doing. It’s a no-brainer. Not a single company has said ‘no’ to us… not even big names like Constellation Brands.”

Yahyn’s challenges are fairly typical for an early-stage company whose growth is taking off but that has limited resources to handle it. It’s a good problem to have. I think Pierre realizes that. 

He says next year will be “spectacular.” Pierre’s a founder, so of course he’s saying that. But in truth, he’s doing a nice job of keeping the company on course. Yahyn is a recent addition to our portfolio, but so far I really like what I’m seeing. Its raise on Netcapital ends September 30 (next Wednesday). If you haven’t invested yet, there’s still time. As an investment opportunity, I like it even better now than I did when I originally recommended it to you.

Top Posts on Early Investing