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Diageo confirms alcohol delivery investment

Diageo has confirmed that it invested in fast-growing on-demand alcohol delivery platform Drizly through a third party in the US last year.

Diageo has invested in US-based alcohol delivery service Drizly

The world’s biggest spirits producer confirmed to The Spirits Business that the deal was made through a third party in May 2015.

Diageo has not disclosed any further details about the investment.

Following the release of Diageo’s 2015/16 full-year financial results, CEO Ivan Menezes said the group’s deal with Drizly shows it is serious about e-commerce.

“I expect e-commerce to develop and we expect to be at the forefront of it,” he said. “We are investing in groups through Tech Ventures [Diageo’s investment and accelerator scheme dedicate to technology].”

Drizly said it has not received direct investment from Diageo, and emphasised its commitment to maintaining independence.

A spokesperson for Drizly said: “Diageo is a small LP, amongst many, in First Beverage Group, who invested in Drizly last May (2015). Drizly is committed to building an independent business.”

Drizly is an app-controlled on-demand drinks delivery service that has been rapidly gaining pace across the US in the past year. Founded in 2012, the service connects users to their nearest alcohol retailer, allowing them to receive orders at their doorstep in 20-40 minutes.

Last year, the firm announced a partnership with trade body Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America, showing that “technology can be an ally of mature, regulated industries like alcohol – not a disruptor”.

Speaking to The Spirits Business recently, Nick Rellas, co-founder and CEO of Drizly, said the advent of on-demand alcohol delivery services in the US will contribute to the creation of an e-commerce industry worth up to US$15 billion a year.

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