Drizly, for Online Alcohol Delivery, Raised $50M in Series C Round

Drizly liquor
Drizly Liquor

Drizly is Largest E-Commerce Platform for Alcohol in North America

The Boston-based startup is the largest e-commerce platform for alcohol in North America. Drizly partners with local retailers in 235 markets. It has a network of 3,300 retail partners across mostly the United States and Canada. They help both independent and retail chain partners move their store shelves online for on-demand delivery. Drizly charges the wine and liquor stores a monthly fee to list on its site. It does not mark up the prices of the alcohol to consumers.

Drizly wine
Drizly Wine

Increase in Demand for Home Delivery of Alcohol

Even before 2020, demand for alcohol delivery services accelerated. Thanks to COVID-19, 2020 has become a whirlwind year of growth for the startup. Drizly has experienced over 350% growth this year as compared to 2019. Its profit figures have also sharp risen since last year. This surge in order activity occurred almost immediately after lockdowns started in mid-March. As the pandemic has dragged on, data shows an increase in the frequently and quantities per order.

Drizly Beer
Drizly Beer

Type of Alcohol Vary by Season

The data shows interesting trends in terms of the types of alcohol in demand in lockdown conditions and based on seasonality. Drizly has discovered that in the summer months, hard seltzers and cocktail ingredients such as vodka and tequila saw upticks in demand. As evidenced by the surge in demand for mezcal, mixers, syrups, garnishes, and liqueur, stay-at-home orders may indeed have inspired more amateur cocktail-making enthusiasts. In the wine category, dessert wines have been the only subcategory experiencing higher than average growth above baseline.

Drizly Founded in 2012

Cousins Nick and Cory Rellas, along with their two friends, Justin Robinson and Spencer Frazier, founded Drizly in 2012. Together they came to the realization that they could technologically modernize the alcohol industry. They thought of scenarios that would fit the an online alcohol delivery service model. The obvious idea is when a party host needs to quickly replenish alcohol supplies that were consumed quicker than anticipated without the hassle of leaving the party. An on-demand app could also be useful for casual social gatherings among friends, who might spontaneously want to get some beers. Today, Drizly has approximately 200 employees.

Drizly cannabis
Drizly Cannabis?

Applying the Model to Cannabis Sales?

The team behind Drizly recently launched a new startup called Lantern, which is an on-demand cannabis delivery service. Some funds raised by Drizly’s Series C round were used to develop Lantern. The founders hope that Lantern can replicate Drizly’s success and become a go-to marketplace for cannabis products delivered from multiple dispensaries. The website is structured so that patients can create a Lantern account by entering a state-issued medical cannabis prescription number. Users can then search through a wide variety of vape, edible, flower, concentrate, topical and accessory cannabis products. As with Drizly’s commitment to fast delivery speeds, Lantern touts delivery times of under one hour. Lantern charges marijuana dispensaries a flat fee to list on the Lantern platform, and users just pay delivery fees that are set by individual dispensaries.

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Carpenter Wellington PLLC

Carpenter Wellington PLLC

Ryan Carpenter serves as Attorney and Managing Director of Carpenter Wellington. Ryan advises clients across a broad set of corporate and commercial matters.