Los Angeles-based on-demand alcohol startup Saucey has delivered good times in a bottle since 2013 but held off raising VC funding till now. The service just pulled in $4.5 million in seed money to make its platform more efficient.
Saucey origins begin with three buddies who worked together and liked to imbibe after a long day. Founders Chris Vaughn, Daniel Leeb and Andrew Zeck were toiling away at messaging startup TextPlus when the idea hit them they could be delivering booze to the greater L.A. area.
The story goes that Vaughn wanted a glass of wine after work one day but found out he was out of the stuff and too tired to go to the store to get some. He came up with a business plan to bring wine and spirits to anyone’s door in under an hour and enlisted his friends to work nights and weekends building it out in the back of another friend’s bar.
Vaughn and his co-founders are not the first to come up with this idea. Thirstie, an alcohol delivery startup headquartered in New York that also delivers in L.A., does pretty much the same thing as Saucey. Users select from various intoxicants listed on the app and then a liquor store runner picks up and delivers the order. Nestdrop, another Los Angeles startup, delivers both alcohol and marijuana. Nestdrop only delivers alcohol in L.A. but takes ganja orders in nine other locations.
We plan on maximizing our infrastructure so couriers can earn more money per hour, delivery times will get even faster for customers, and the selection will go well beyond where we are today. Chris Vaughn, Saucey
Blumberg Capital led the round, with participation from Structure Capital and Altpoint Ventures, T5 Captial and HashTagOne. Several angel investors from Hollywood’s entertainment sector such as Scooter Braun, Phil MacIntyre, Nick and Joe Jonas and E News! co-anchor Terrence Jenkins also participated.
The plan going forward is to use the money to improve customer service and increase sales by optimizing the backend of the app.
“Saucey couriers today can run up to six deliveries per hour,” Vaughn told TechCrunch. “We plan on maximizing our infrastructure so couriers can earn more money per hour, delivery times will get even faster for customers, and the selection will go well beyond where we are today.”
The startup also intends to devote some of the funding to “personalization, and tailoring the experience to individual user’s shopping needs in a meaningful way,” according to Vaughn.