BOXT, an Austin-based female-owned wine startup, raises $9.35M to deliver luxury brand of fine wine straight to your door
For many years, Sarah Puil always dreamt of creating great-tasting wine, but she also wanted to help reduce wine waste for a guilt-free glass. Her global travels in her 20s to countries around the world opened her mind to different flavors she was missing back home.
So in 2019, Sarah founded BOXT with one vision–to both explore her passion for wine and give everyone the same experience. BOXT is a first-of-its-kind wine club, creating a luxury wine experience delivered directly to consumers’ doorsteps in a gorgeous and countertop-worthy BOXT. Since its inception two years ago, BOXT has grown to become one of the best wines in the country.
In February, BOXT was selected as one of the Top Start-Ups to Watch in 2021 by Austin Business Journals. With its successes, investors are opening their wallets to BOXT to fuel the company’s growth.
Today, BOXT announced it has raised $9.35 million in equity and debt funding to drive the continued expansion of its luxury brand of fine wine offerings. The round was led by Next Coast Ventures and joined by privately owned WX Brands, venture debt partner Silicon Valley Bank and multiple private individual investors.
“Sarah was our Entrepreneur in Residence at Next Coast Ventures,” said Mike Smerklo, Co-founder and Managing Director of Next Coast Ventures. “When she first brought the idea to me, my immediate reaction was, ‘No more new ideas. This is the one.’ Since that time it has been amazing to watch the team at BOXT take this vision and turn it into a rapidly growing business that provides an amazing customer experience each and every month.”
I wanted people to have a high-quality glass of wine without the need to drink a full bottle or risk wasting it,” said Puil. She came up with BOXT, which has already delivered over 2,000 boxes in its pre-launch phase last Fall. Each BOXT is the equivalent of four bottles of wine “on tap.”
BOXT is available through a subscription service, with free shipping of its wines direct to doorsteps. A concierge is available to assist customers with selecting wines based on flavor profiles, and each box has a 100 percent happiness guarantee. Subscribers can pause, cancel, or change wine selections at any time.
BOXT is a female-founded and run, venture-backed winery handcrafting wines in Napa with operations based in Austin. BOXT is designing a first-of-its-kind, luxury wine experience and delivering it directly to members every month in sleek, environmentally conscious packaging. Inspired by the simple and delicious house wines of Europe, BOXT is changing the way we all enjoy a glass at home.
BOXT reimagines how to enjoy a single glass of wine at home after a long day, solving the nightly “to-open-or-not-to-open” debate. With its on-tap wines that stay fresh for up to six weeks once opened, BOXT allows consumers to pour exactly as much or as little as they like, whenever they like.
“Sarah’s passion to deliver a premium wine, directly and in the most eco-friendly and user-friendly format in the industry, is providing a terrific benefit for both new wine drinkers and long-time wine lovers. WX is incredibly excited to invest in and partner with Sarah and her great team,” said Mike Lukan, CFO of WX Brands.
Grounded in its philosophy of simplifying fine wine, BOXT designs its eight single-batch, handcrafted wines based not just on varietals, like chardonnay or merlot, but on the tastes and textures wine drinkers gravitate to in fine wine, offering something for everyone.
“Our goal is to be everyone’s go-to glass of house wine,” said Sarah Puil, Founder of BOXT. “We’re excited to use this investment to expand our marketing to grow membership and brand awareness, fund technology development for reducing our carbon footprint, and continue to research the best ways to provide a sustainable, luxury wine experience for our members.”
BOXT’s monthly membership-based subscription service includes shipping, a personal wine concierge, and the flexibility to change profile, redirect the shipment, pause or cancel at any time.