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Vivino Scaling To Go Global Through Outsourcing

Editor's note: This post is part of a series of posts published in co-operation with Elance, the leading source of outsourcing talent in the world. Elance is also supporting our ArcticEvening Copenhagen on May 31st.

Vivino is Denmark-based startup that is looking to change the way people enjoy wine around the world. According to one of Vivino's investors, Niels Vejrup Carlsen of SEED Capital, the global wine market is four times that of the music industry and Vivino is aligned well to take on that market. The company raised a round earlier this year from SEED Capital in Denmark to go global with their new mobile app.

The new version of the mobile app allows users to get information and recommendations on almost any wine. The app already boasts a database of more than half a million bottles. The app is free and available for Android and iOS -based devices.

The Vivino app works so that once consuming a wine, you can take a photo of the bottle and then register it into your library, where you can rate it and remember it the next time. The website also has social extensions allowing you to follow the most savvy wine enthusiasts and see what they are enjoying. Each wine in the system is also ranked within the winery, region as well as globally.

Heini Zachariassen, the founder and CEO of the company, told us that he founded the company after being a fan of IMDb for years and realising there wasn't a similar platform for wines. He believes both, the movie and wine industries, are very large and both are very subjective in terms of what is perceived as good and bad.

The growth of smartphone usage has been key to Vivino's success as well. This is because it is the only device you usually have at hand when purchasing and consuming a wine.

We talked to Heini Zachariassen, the founder and CEO of the company, on how he uses Elance to bring leverage to development of his startup.

ArcticStartup (AS): What services do you, at Vivino use Elance for?

Heini Zachariassen (HZ): We have basically used Elance for as much as we can. So this has been everything from registering all the 1,000,000 wines, to building our website and mostly importantly, our mobile app.

AS: What have been the main advantages to you?

HZ: I would say: Flexibility, quick access to highly skilled workers, up and down scaling when needed. The ratings on Elance are great and the workers there are of very high quality.

Being an entrepreneur in a highly competitive industry, speed of execution and implementation of new ideas is everything. Elance enables us to do so.

AS: What were the alternatives that you thought of? Why were they unsuitable?

HZ: Basically I had two options move the company abroad to a low wage labor country or use Elance. If I was to hire strictly locally, this company would have never existed.

AS: Are there any areas of your business that you would not consider outsourcing in the future?

HZ: The things we see as mission critical for our company. For us that is our User interface, the daily contact to our customers, text and graphic. It is vital to stay close to our market and customers.

AS: What do you like best about Elance and where is there room for improvement?

HZ: The people on the platform! The quality of the contractors on Elance is much higher than what I have found elsewhere on similar platforms. This limits the amount of noise you get from people who are sending spam applications from the jobs that you post.
The rating system is also a big part of this. When somebody has done 20 different jobs on Elance with good feedback, you just know that he is going to do a good job for you as well. The quantity and quality on Elance is unlimited.

Platforms like Elance make it possible to be a successful entrepreneur today. It means that I can stay in Denmark close to friends and family while I build a successful company. We are 4 people at our Vivino main office and then we have a cloud of approximately 15 freelancers that we use on regular basis.

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This post is part of a series of posts, sponsored by Elance.

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