CALGARY, SEATTLE, April. 3rd, 2019 – BlackSquare Inc. (BlackSquare or the Company) is pleased to announce that the Company has entered into a definitive arrangement agreement with Wine Folly LLC (Wine Folly) under which BlackSquare, through a wholly-owned subsidiary, GWDB Inc. (Global Wine Database or GWDB) will merge with Wine Folly to create Folly Enterprises Inc. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter, 2019 following normal course due diligence requirements and board/shareholder approval.
GWDB and Wine Folly will combine efforts to create a new wine information platform. The platform, built with GWDB technology, will be tasked with collecting, creating, and maintaining a centralized knowledge base of global wine information directly from producers. Wine Folly will design the interface for the human experience of the wine information.
David Gluzman, a co-founder of BlackSquare, has been named Folly Enterprises CEO and will run the new company alongside Madeline Puckette, co-founder of Wine Folly.
David has over 10 years direct experience in wine-related technology and over 20 years in technology development. David commented; “GWDB was founded because we had identified that accurate, consistent wine information was completely lacking in the global wine trade. GWDB solved that problem in conjunction with producers and some of the largest wine organizations globally.”
GWDB, founded in 2017, provides hundreds of data points per wine, all from information sourced solely from wine producers. That level of data availability and accuracy, all provided via GWDB’s proprietary technology, has never before been available to consumers or industry trade.
Gluzman continued: “When we started our discussions with Madeline and Wine Folly, it was clear the two organizations had to come together to usher in a new era for our industry. Together we hope to bring endless new possibilities to the wine world using big data and design communication.”
Tamlyn Currin summarized GWDB with: “Gone will be the need for dozens of people to populate dozens of databases, forms and documents, spending endless hours copying, pasting, printing, faxing, emailing, posting, and chasing queries. Upload data once. Drive the facts forward.” - Bytes of Wine (2018), JancisRobinson.com
Wine Folly, founded in 2011, is a content site devoted to wine knowledge and appreciation. Its mission is to allow people to gain a deeper understanding of wine by exploring all of the many facets. The intent of the site is that more people see wine not just as an adult beverage, but as a way to explore human experience.
Madeline Puckette is a well-respected wine personality who is certified with the Court of Masters Sommeliers and has a background in graphic design. Her work involves designing visual information systems to simplify wine education. Her book, Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine is a New York Times Bestseller. Additionally, she is a narrator in the hit wine documentaries, Somm: Into the Bottle and Somm 3. In April 2019, Puckette won Wine Communicator of the Year from the International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC).
About the merger, Puckette said “If there is one thing that plagues the wine industry – to its core – it is bad information. After seeing GWDB’s data model, I’m convinced this is the right direction for the global wine community. My goal is to help communicate this technical information to consumers, so that more people can learn about wine.”
Folly Enterprises is considering a financing round for continued growth of the combined platform in the near future.
Folly Enterprises: Engaging, informative & accurate wine information for the world.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org / www.follyinc.com
Left to right: Matthew Protti (CEO - BlackSquare), Madeline Puckette (Co-Founder - Folly Enterprises), Ben Andrews (Co-Founder - Folly Enterprises), David Gluzman (CEO - Folly Enterprises)
Founded in 2010, BlackSquare Inc.’s vision is a world where top global alcohol producers enjoy superior economics and consumers enjoy greater access to quality and exclusive products. Our mission is to help producers develop direct relationships with consumers by curating cross-border direct to consumer (DTC) experiences.
BlackSquare operates a number of business lines focusing on DTC sales, including ecommerce, third party logistics services, marketing and analytics. BlackSquare’s technology-enabled managed services help some of the largest alcohol producers and companies in the world sell their products efficiently to individuals in dozens of countries.
GWDB is a wine data repository and analytics platform built on wine producer sourced information. It’s the only global, producer verified source for wine data. GWDB has been working directly with wine and data experts around the world since 2017 to architect a scalable big data system specifically catered to the wine industry.
Wineries upload their information to GWDB free of charge and immediately benefit from a single resource to manage their winery and all their product information on a vintage by vintage basis. Third parties such as retailers, competitions, government, academia and other technology platforms can gain access via the GWDB API.
GWDB can create complete models and predictive systems to correlate massive amounts of data into useful conclusions, observations, predictions, and analytics for the global wine industry.
Founded in 2011, Wine Folly is an engaging and educational platform that explores the topic of wine. Winefolly.com hosts millions of visitors each month and offers tips, articles, infographics, videos, and products to help people navigate the wine world. The site has received accolades from the International Wine and Spirits Competition in 2013 and 2019 and ranks in the top 10 most trafficked wine sites, with a top position on the topic of learning about wine.
Wine Folly's content has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, NPR, Fast Company, and The Washington Post among others. The book, Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine, ranked #15 on New York Times Bestseller's list for food and drink and was an Amazon Top 5 Cookbook in 2015.