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Bright Cellars Scores $2.8M

MILWAUKEE, WI, Bright Cellars, the personalized wine subscription service powered by data science has raised a new $2.8 million round of funding.
Major participants include Cleveland Avenue, Northwestern Mutual's Cream City Venture Capital, and returning investor CSA Partners.

Since completing the gener8tor accelerator program in 2015, Bright Cellars' subscriber base has grown to more than 22,000 members, with revenue growing tenfold. Headquartered in the Ward4 co-working space in Milwaukee, WI, Bright Cellars' team has grown from six to more than 40 employees.

"We're excited to continue to build Bright Cellars and thankful for validation from our growing customer base and the support from our existing and new investors." says Bright Cellars Co-founder and CEO Richard Yau. "Led by restaurant industry veteran Don Thompson, Cleveland Avenue's deep operational experience in food and beverage makes them a great strategic partner. We also look forward to the mentorship and the breadth of resources that working with a company of Northwestern Mutual's scale will bring to Bright Cellars."

Northwestern Mutual's Venture Partner Craig Schedler is confident their participation in the round will aid in the company's growth and success. "Bright Cellars is the exact type of investment Cream City Venture Capital looks for and brings together an excellent team leveraging technology to address a large market," says Schedler. "Their data-driven approach to the wine industry is a differentiator and positions Bright Cellars with tremendous growth opportunities. This investment will allow Bright Cellars to continue growing in Milwaukee."

Milwaukee-based venture capital firm CSA Partners led Bright Cellars' last funding round and spurred Bright Cellars' relocation from Boston to Milwaukee's Ward4 co-working community in 2015. CSA Partners and Ward4 Founder Chris Abele says,"Bright Cellars has grown to be an anchor in Milwaukee's growing startup community and we believe the business model will continue to transform the wine industry."

Bright Cellars is developing a data science-driven understanding of their primarily millennial consumers' wine preferences. In an industry where the largest wine producers like Gallo and Constellation Brands have limited interaction with their end consumer, Bright Cellars has created an engine for direct feedback and a deeper understanding of consumer preference.

To find out more about Bright Cellars, visit
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