Andre Eikmeier founded Vinomofo with his brother-in-law, Justin Dry, in 2011 as a ‘Facebook for Wine-lovers’.
After a career that included half an accounting degree and an acting career in four out of five of Australia's worst TV shows. Vinomofo is now one of Australia’s fastest growing tech companies with more than 400,000 members, over $50m in revenue and a grand vision to change the way people all over the world buy and drink wine.
GOING INTO VINOMOFO, I WAS AT THAT POINT WHERE IF THIS DIDN'T WORK, I DIDN'T KNOW IF I HAD THE ENERGY TO KEEP GOING BECAUSE IT WAS MY SIXTH BUSINESS.
Blackbird: Vinomofo isn’t your first business. Where do you get the energy?
Andre: I got to say, going into Vinomofo, I was at that point where if this didn't work, I didn't know if I had the energy to keep going because it was my sixth business. But I always wanted to do exactly what I wanted to do. I studied accounting and uni, then I wanted to be in business, then I wanted to be an actor, then I wanted to be a musician... All of these things I did to varying degrees of success and mostly not.
THEY DON’T WANT TO BE FUCKING TALKING ABOUT WINE. I MEAN IT'S NICE TO TALK ABOUT IT IF IT LEADS TO DRINKING IT, RIGHT?
Investment to Date
12 (5 more planned for 2016)
Blackbird: How important is having a co-founder?
Andre: With all the shit that goes on in business, in this world where everybody's trying to get something for themselves, at some point we realized that what we have is this implicit trust. You know, that we’re never going to tre and screw each other out of anything. And we're brothers in law, by the way, so there's a connection. And we may be trying to one-up each other all the time but that’s mostly passed. Every time we do something - a transaction or a particularly or investment a raise, we are doing it with this thing that is ours, that we fucking built and no one can take that away from us.
Blackbird: And your previous attempts at this business didn’t work. Why?
Andre: It took us ages to realize why. People want to be drinking wine, they don’t want to be fucking talking about it. I mean it's nice to talk about it if it leads to drinking it, right? But mostly people just want to to drink it.
And now you know, we're like, "Here's a good wine. Just click the button and we'll deliver it to your doorstep and then we’ll find out how you liked it." I think that's the key thing I learned. I just didn’t understand what the true need was or what was going to be a real solution or what was going to be useful.
Blackbird: And after so many years of trying but missing, now you’re on a roll. How does it feel?
Andre: You know I've got a lot of friends who are at the top of their chosen career path, they're on huge salaries and they’re C-level executives of listed companies and they’re not happy. They don’t talk about work like it's energizing. Now they’re serious with me, but they used to look at me with pity - "Aw. Andre, good on you, you’re following your dream. I wish I was doing something I was passionate about." and I was always like “Oh Fuck off.”
CHECK OUT OUR AMA WITH ANDRE
WATCH ANDRE'S CONFERENCE TALK
MADE IN PIXEL TOGETHER