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_RevTech Fund IV Makes First Investment in Tastry.

RevTech’s newest investment is in a company we first met in 2017, when it was just a group of Cal Poly chemists with a big idea. Our initial investment in Tastry, from that year, has grown ten-fold as the company has progressed from concept to delivered value.

Tastry is a sensory sciences company that uses advanced chemistry, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to match consumers to products they will love. In 2021, Tastry AI launched a subscription offering for wineries that provides an insight to consumer taste preferences that was mere guesswork in the past. Today, 22 of the top 25 wine producers in the USA are Tastry clients, and the company consistently provides its clients with ROI ranging from 44x to 215x. In 2023, the company increased its subscription rates by 306%, on average, and did this with no client churn.

Background

The company launched in early 2017, founded by a team of students that had recently graduated from Cal Poly with chemistry degrees, and their faculty advisor. RevTech accepted Tastry (then known as Bottlefly) into its 2017 accelerator program and made a small investment at that time, adding a small follow-on investment in 2018.

During the early phase of the company, Tastry’s product was a consumer survey that was placed via kiosks in the wine aisle of grocery stores, which made recommendations based upon the survey results. By the end of 2019, the kiosks were placed in about 20 grocery stores – a very slow, non-scalable expansion. While this was happening, the company steadily built a database of the chemistry components of thousands of brands of wine that has now become valuable.

RevTech paired the company with a mentor who was based in Dallas but had a summer home in San Luis Obispo, CA, where the company is based. That mentor introduced a key resource to Tastry who quickly rose to the role of Chief Business Officer, overseeing finance, accounting, contracts, HR, and day-to-day operations. This enabled Katerina Axelsson, the Founder and CEO, to focus on product development, client relations, and investor relations. RevTech also introduced Tastry to an innovation manager from Sam’s Club, in 2020, who became a champion for the solution and opened doors to distributors, including the two largest – Southern and RNDC.

Current Business Snapshot

Given the strong position Tastry has developed with wine producers during the past two years, the company inked a partnership deal with North Texas based RNDC, the second largest alcoholic beverage distributor in the USA. The company has also engaged with some of the largest wine producers in Europe, Australia, and South America on a limited basis, and has done this through inbound interest only. Therefore, Tastry is well positioned for global expansion at a later date.

Client Testimonial

“I believe that it’s literally humanly impossible to stay focused, taste, evaluate, and compare 200 wines. Now, TastryAI does this in a matter of seconds, and it doesn’t make a mistake or get tipsy. With Tastry, you’re winning time and resources. I believe it’s a better way to do a low of things.”

Alexandre Remy, Winemaker at Atlas Wine Co.

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