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Winery social media software VinTank returns under Avero ownership

Five months since the shuttering of a Napa Valley-based VinTank software service that helped pioneer winery social media management, it's back under new ownership.

On Dec. 15, New York-based Avero announced the acquisition of the VinTank assets, now called AveroBuzz, from San Francisco-based W2O, a marketing and communications consulting company recently refocused on health care, technology and global brands. Leading the initial five- to 10-person AveroBuzz restart crew are VinTank co-founder Paul Mabray and two former W2O software engineers, Matt Franklin and Robert Ford.

The first version of AveroBuzz is scheduled go online in the next two months, starting with wineries and certain restaurants. VinTank had as many as 1,200 winery customers at one point.

At relaunch, AveroBuzz is expected to look much like VinTank, which W2O renamed TMRW Engine. When Mabray and James Jory started VinTank in December 2008, it was a trailblazer in wine business social media management. In an industry still weighing the return on investment from employee time and resources spent on social media, the startup tailored for wine needs software technologies popularized elsewhere. Key ones were geofences, which allows for sales promotion based on proximity to the retailer, and social stitching, which allows a seller to track and have conversations with consumers, no matter what social media platform they use.

In the next four to six months, AveroBuzz 2.0 is set for release, with features aimed at restaurants and hotels.

Avero’s software has more than 40,000 users in 70 countries. Avero Slingshot is cloud-based software that allows restaurants to analyze data to control costs and see sales opportunities. W2O bought VinTank in March 2015. In July of this year, Mabray announced TMRW Engine would cease operations that month, saying social customer relationship management software didn't fit with W2O's new focus.

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