Online liquor seller Hairydog buys BoozeBud from administrators

Victorian alcohol delivery startup Hairydog Group has added rival BoozeBud to its portfolio, acquiring the company’s assets a month after the company went into receivership.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed by Hairydog says the acquisition will boost her annual sales in excess of $75 million, driving profitability and strengthening its position as a dominant player in the online beverage business. The deal went through last Friday.

That figure suggests major undercurrents are flowing through online liquor sales for smaller players after industry giants like BWS, owned by the Endeavor Group, lifted their online delivery game and entered the space.

As BoozeBud nearly doubled in size after acquiring Get Wines Direct in December 2021, the company said at the time it would generate about $80 million in revenue annually.

BoozeBud was founded in 2014 and in August 2018, ZX Ventures, owned by AB InBev, acquired it for an undisclosed sum. Two years later, in December 2020, the founders bought back the company, with Patrick Grove’s Catcha Group financing the management buyout.

But the company hit rocky waters with a majority of the board resigning earlier this year before BoozeBud Holdings Ltd and Pocko Ltd (trading as BoozeBud) were voluntarily placed under William Buck on May 2 and the online sales portal shut down . The online liqueur platform supplied more than 2,000 lines of beer, wine and spirits in Australia.

Hairydog says the relaunch of BoozeBud is just around the corner, with the revamped website going live this weekend. Damien Smith, the former chief technology officer of BoozeBud, has joined the Hairydog team for its resurrection.

This deal from Hairydog comes 12 months later acquired beverage wholesaler S&P Liquor Group for an undisclosed sum.

Founded in 2020, Hairydog operates nationwide with distribution centers in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide. Head of e-commerce Ryan Agar said Boozebud’s acquisition provides an e-commerce infrastructure that will help maximize the combined potential of the two brands.

“Through this acquisition, we are not only expanding our business footprint, we are strategically aligning the strengths of BoozeBud’s advanced e-commerce capabilities with Hairydog’s proven retail expertise,” he said.

“This merger of two brands creates a powerhouse poised to transform the online liquor retail space to bring better drinks and experiences to our customers.”