The money will go toward both Drizly and Lantern, an independent company focused on cannabis delivery from online sources. The two groups are trying to be “the preeminent platform provider for online sales of regulated consumer products,” the release says.
Drizly has seen a growth of over 350 percent in 2020 as compared to last year, according to the release, and the number of retail platforms on Drizly has doubled in size since Jan. 1. Like other types of retail, buying alcohol has shifted online. Drizly anticipates the number of off-premise alcohol purchases to rise by 20 percent in the next five years. That number has risen sharply since before the pandemic — in the beginning of the year, the company only predicted around 2 percent.
CEO Cory Rellas said the investment was a “vote of confidence” in the business model.
“We’ve spent years methodically building the three-tier compliant e-commerce foundation for the alcohol category — a place where consumers love to shop and that retailers and brands now deem critical to their e-commerce growth strategies,” he said, according to the release. “We look forward to further building out our offering for retailers and brands while continuing to provide a consumer experience that comprises the best place to shop for your favorite beer, wine and spirits.”
The “three-tier” system refers to how producers sell to distributors, who then sell to customers.
A 2018 PYMNTS report noted the business of selling alcohol online can be challenging, as there are specific rules on who can buy it and where. The laws vary by state, with some mandating rules on the days or hours alcohol can be sold, and some only letting chains vend alcohol from a certain number of solutions.