Echelon’s Asia Top 62 Startups, The French Cellar secures 7-figure series A funding from ESW Manage

Singapore, 9th June 2014ESW Manage 中青集团, is a private equity firm focused on investment opportunities particularly in Asia announced today it’s 7-figure investment to acquire a 20% stake into The French Cellar (, Asia’s pioneer wine subscription e-commerce platform. This series A comes shortly after Kyosei Ventures, Jackie Lee joins as Chairman in March 2014.

Mr. Wong Yat Foo has been invited to join the startup as their Director. He is the founder and Chairman of private equity firm, ESW Manage Pte Ltd. Mr. Wong has more than 15 years of experience in regional and cross-border capital market transactions including mergers and acquisitions, initial public offering and private equity investment. Mr. Wong was the CEO and chairman of Mentor Media Ltd, which he took public in 1999 and sold for SGD 168 million in 2006 to a private equity. Currently, he is the President for Mentor Media Ltd.

“From $20.5 trillion and $12.7 trillion, respectively in 2012, assets owned by mass affluent and HNWI investors in Asia-Pacific are expected to rise to $43.3 trillion and $22.6 trillion respectively by 2020. The growth is expected to be higher for the mass affluent sector (with a CAGR of 9.8%) than for HNWIs (7.5%). The mass affluent and high-net-worth-individual population is rapidly growing in SE Asia and China. The French Cellar is pioneering curated wine subscription e-commerce in Asia which can directly tap into this trend. This is indeed an investment that can go public if the executions are right in the coming years. With Jackie as their mentor, I am excited and confident to join Vincent and Eric in their quest to unlock this obvious opportunity in Asia,” stated Wong.

“This is an exciting moment for us as we welcome on board a veteran, Mr Wong Yat Foo. His wisdom and experience will be a valuable asset to The French Cellar as we expand into Asia. In France, there are currently over 300 appellations, 115,000 winemakers producing more than 7 billion bottles of wines a year. The interest in genuine French Wine is always high. The demand for curation and guided discovery is an enormous one in Asia as well. We are convinced that the e-commerce subscription model of curated wines is the solution for the millions of wines lovers to address the challenge in choosing their wines. Our immediate markets of interest will include Malaysia, Indonesia, China and Japan,” said Dr. Vincent Morello, CEO of The French Cellar.

The French Cellar is also proud to share that after 400 applications, 180 pitches from 12 cities, and 4-stage stringent selection process, The French Cellar has also emerged as Asia’s Top 62 Startups in the Echelon 2014 sponsored by Singtel innov8 taking place from 10-11 June 2014. The French Cellar will be exhibiting at Echelon 2014.


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