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RNDC invests in Thirstie

US distributor Republic National Distributing Company (RNDC) has invested in alcohol e-commerce platform Thirstie.

The Macallan E-Boutique
The Macallan E-Boutique was launched in partnership with Thirstie in 2020

The investment from RNDC, the second-biggest wine and spirits distributor in the US, also sees the start of the company’s new strategic partnership with Thirstie.

New York-based Thirstie is an e-commerce and data provider for alcohol brands, founded by Maxim Razmakhin and Devaraj Southworth in 2014.

RNDC’s partnership with Thirstie will bring a ‘compliant, technology-driven, more efficient approach’ to the alcohol industry, the company said.

“RNDC is looking to transform the industry and this partnership with Thirstie is one of the ways we are accelerating our digital capabilities,” said RNDC CEO Nick Mehall.

“Thirstie is a category leader in the alcohol e-commerce space. With Thirstie’s platform, as well as their extended offerings, we will make a tremendous impact on RNDC’s supplier community and the industry overall.”

Through Thirstie’s regulator-vetted, patented platform, RNDC will provide its suppliers with access to virtual storefronts, and data and predictive analytics to help them grow online sales.

Furthermore, the deal will enable RNDC to create new ways for suppliers to engage with consumers.

“We see this partnership as a pivotal point for Thirstie and our customers,” Thirstie CEO Razmakhin added.

“The union of two innovative leaders in the space further propels the beverage alcohol sector into a digital- and data-first mindset.

“Liquor suppliers understand the importance of e-commerce, but they’re looking for support with running digital marketing, analysing data, and packaging the results for their wholesalers, sales teams, and investors.

“That’s why we’re now offering a one-stop-shop solution as well as step-by-step guidance for leveraging online success to benefit offline business.”

Thirstie said digital alcohol sales slowed in 2022 as the on-trade reopened and Apple’s new privacy policies slashed advertising return on investment (ROI) by 38%.

Thirstie expects online alcohol sales to ‘accelerate’ in the years ahead, led by new partnerships in the industry.

E-commerce alcohol sales in 16 markets are predicted to grow by more than a third to reach nearly US$40 billion by 2026, according to data from IWSR Drinks Market Analysis last month.

The investment follows a similar deal made by RNDC rival Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits (SGWS) last year.

SGWS, the biggest alcohol distributor in the States, acquired an equity stake in alcohol e-commerce platform Reserve Bar for an undisclosed sum.

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