Ellen Deng: How Vinofy App Are Helping Wine Lovers Get Better Connected

Ellen Deng | Vinofy

Tell us about yourself?

I am a tech startup veteran who loves wine. I worked as a venture developer at Lazada, an eCommerce unicorn startup that was acquired by Alibaba with a multi-billion dollar valuation.

I also led a team of 9 and built a global experience platform live in over 30 countries, serving 18 million users globally for a travel startup.

I studied Master in Finance and International Management at ESADE Business School and Bocconi University. I lived in 11 countries and speak Chinese, English, and Spanish.

What do you think is the single biggest misconception people have when it comes to startups?

When you launch a product, people will come. The marketing strategy, the language of the brand are just as important as the product.

If you could go back in time to any moment from your journey, and give yourself one tip, what would it be?

Start as early as possible to generate leads at launch.

What makes you stand out as an entrepreneur?

Persistence. Keep moving forward even though it seems very hard sometimes.

What are some of the best working habits you’ve gained over the past couple of years?

Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help. Learn to leave emotions out of the decision-making.

Give us a bit of an insight into the influences behind the company?

Vinofy App is the first video-based social wine app for people to discover, share and shop wine all in one place. We are building a platform and community for people to connect over the love of wine.

In the app, users can make a short video to talk about the wine they are having and share it with others. We believe that everyone should be able to express and share their wine experience at the press of a button.

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Users can also shop directly from the videos that were created by wine professionals, influencers, and other wine lovers in the community. They will also earn SipCoins by completing tasks and redeeming SipRewards from SipCoins.

Where do you see your business in five years?

We have many exciting features planned on the product roadmap, such as live streaming, virtual tastings, group chat, etc. We also plan to launch Vinofy Select, Vinofy Marketplace to help wine influencers, wine professionals, and winemakers to engage better with their audience and monetize better on their content.

And it’s not only limited to wine because Vinofy, at its core, is about tastefulness. We will expand to other categories, such as spirits, coffee beer, and cannabis. Our vision is to unite people from different cultures and backgrounds over this universal human experience, the love of wine, food, and anything tasty.

What do you think the biggest challenge will be for you in getting there?

The biggest challenge would be how to acquire users and content with low costs to reach a large market share

Talk to us about your biggest success story so far?

We have bootstrapped to build the app and launch the iOS app in October. Currently working on android app. We already have some traction with an early adopter with over 270 videos created by consumers, winemakers, influencers, and business owners.

How do clients and customers find you? Are you much of a salesperson for yourself?

We go to wine festivals, wine tasting events as well as reach out on Instagram and email directly. They can also find us via the Instagram, blog, and our tasting events

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What one tip would you give to fellow startup founders?

Keep moving forward. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Recognise the progress and achievement you have made

And finally, what do you hope the future brings both you personally, and your business?

I want to build a sustainable and profitable business, a product people love and a community for wine lovers.

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