Texas woman’s Napa-made ultrapremium box wine gets $9M investment

Boxt, a female-founded wine club based in Texas, has raised $9.35 million just a year after it started shipping its Napa-made ultrapremium box wine directly to consumers.

The round of equity and debt funding was led by Next Coast Ventures and joined by Novato-based WX Brands; venture debt partner Silicon Valley Bank, a major North Coast wine industry lender; and multiple private individual investors, the startup announced Oct. 20. The stated goal with the new funding is to expand the club’s sourcing for wine.

Sarah Puil got the idea for Austin, Texas-based Boxt in 2019 at a Paris cafe, wanting to bring the “zero stigma” consumer experience of quality European house wines to the U.S. market, according to the club’s website.

"Our goal is to be everyone's go-to glass of house wine," Puil said in the announcement. "We're excited to use this investment to expand our marketing to grow membership and brand awareness, fund technology development for reducing our carbon footprint and continue to research the best ways to provide a sustainable, luxury wine experience for our members."

Boxt said it shipped its first wines last fall to founding members. The company has its own bonded production facility in Napa and does its own order fulfillment, Puil told the Business Journal. She declined to disclose how many shipments the company has completed.

The club now offers eight blends, called profiles: three white, four red and a rose launched this summer. Each 3-liter wine bladder with spigot is packed in a wood box, and the wine is said to stay good for six weeks after opening because air doesn’t get to the wine the way it can with a conventional bottle. The boxes sell for $89 by themselves or $74 as part of a monthly subscription. That’s equivalent to $22.25 or $18.50 per standard-sized 750-milliliter wine bottle.

Puil was an entrepreneur in residence at Austin-based Next Coast Ventures.

"When she first brought the idea to me, my immediate reaction was, 'No more new ideas. This is the one,'“ said Mike Smerklo, co-founder and managing director of Next Coast Ventures, in the news release. ”Since that time it has been amazing to watch the team at BOXT take this vision and turn it into a rapidly growing business that provides an amazing customer experience each and every month."

WX Brands in August sold a majority stake to the Argentinian beer and wine family behind the Terold company.

This story was updated with details of Boxt’s Napa winery and order fulfillment.

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