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Yao Family Wines Turns to Crowdfunding

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by basso, Mar 4, 2015.

  1. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    As China’s luxury wine market cools, Yao Ming, the former National Basketball Association all-star, is inviting U.S. wine and basketball enthusiasts to own a piece of his Napa Valley winery, for as little as $5,000 per person.

    for the low, low entry fee of $5k, you can own a piece.

    --
    Yao Family Wines plans to raise $3 million via Crowdfunder, a website for entrepreneurs to get funding from fans. The proceeds will be used to build a visitor center in Napa Valley and a tasting room in Shanghai, Mr. Yao’s hometown.

    Basketball-loving Chinese wine connoisseurs, however, will be left on the sidelines: Only high net-worth individuals who are American citizens and permanent residents can participate in the fund-raising effort because of U.S. securities laws. The U.S. company said if it were to make its offering in China or other foreign countries, then it would have to comply with the securities of each of those countries, which is not a practical undertaking for a small company.

    With Beijing’s anti-corruption campaign sapping demand for expensive wines, Yao Family Wines, the biggest seller of high-end Californian wine in China by value, is shifting its focus from Chinese banquet tables to U.S. steak houses. Now 15% of the winery’s revenues come from the U.S., compared to almost zero at the beginning in late 2011. The company said it has managed to grow its sales in a tough environment, without giving more details.


    Former NBA all-star Yao Ming tastes wine produced by his Napa Valley winery, Yao Family Wines. Courtesy of Yao Family Wines
    Jay Behmke, a managing director at Yao Family Wines, said he is prepared to increase the offering to $5 million if facing strong demand. Mr. Yao will also invest in this round for an unspecified amount. Two big investors, whose identities the company declined to disclose, have each committed to invest $250,000. Depending on the size of their investment, people who buy in through Crowdfunder will enjoy perks that include exclusive events and private dinners.

    The latest round of fund-raising values Yao Family Wines at $15 million, said Mr. Behmke. He added the company has been cash-flow positive from the beginning, and doesn’t plan to raise more funds in the next decade. It generally takes $6 to $8 million to initiate a winery. Yao Family Wines has put in over that amount since 2011, said the company.

    Small California wineries tend to be vanity investments with low to zero returns, owned by wealthy people who don’t mind losses. But Mr. Behmke said Yao, who is studying a business degree in Shanghai, wants the business to be successful and investors in Mr. Yao’s venture could expect a total return of about 36% for the 10 year period.

    Yao’s wine-making team says the 7-foot-6 former Houston Rockets center is the “guiding element” in how the company crafts wine. “He likes balance in the wine, everything has to work together,” said Tom Hinde, director of wine making at Yao Family Wines. “He notices when something is too far in one direction, and he always asks to pull it back.”

    Yao Family Wines’ previous offerings, all reds, have ranged from about 1,500 yuan ($238) a bottle for Yao Ming Napa Valley, to around 6,000 yuan for a bottle for its premium Yao Ming Family Reserve. The company said a cheaper wine Yao Family Wines introduced in 2013 was a success, because it is well positioned for the current climate in China. Napa Crest, a 2010 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot grapes, retailed in China for 535 yuan ($85), is still out of reach for ordinary Chinese, however.
     
  2. Jayzers_100

    Jayzers_100 Member

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    Never understood why any sane person would pay hundreds of dollars for a bottle of wine.
     
  3. REEKO_HTOWN

    REEKO_HTOWN I'm Rich Biiiiaaatch!

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    Right? I mean I paid $200 for a bottle of Scotch but it's SCOTCH!
     
  4. cbk41

    cbk41 Member

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    [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Contributing Member

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    And some people think it's insane to pay hundreds of dollars to watch dudes bounce a ball
     
  6. cbk41

    cbk41 Member

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    Well, there are very few compatible substitute good for watching a game of basketball. Literally tens of thousands of them for wine. Not a good comparison.
     
  7. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Contributing Member

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    There are lots of ball sports.

    Really good wine is rare.
     
  8. RedRedemption

    RedRedemption Contributing Member

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    As long as you don't go too cheap. $3 wine. Never again.
     
  9. GanjaRocket

    GanjaRocket Member

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    So is it like owning shares? That I can sell on a liquid market?
     
  10. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    i'd rather sit home with a $100 bottle of wine and watch a game on the big screen while listening to some good tunes, than sit in $100 seats and watch a game with a bottle of beer and listening to the crap they pay on the PA.
     
  11. HouStu_Rocket

    HouStu_Rocket Member

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    It's all about the perception. People feel important when they are drinking wine that to a lot of other people is priced out of this world. Why would someone pay a tremendous amount of money on Superbowl tickets when it's just like any other football game? The prescription of importance plays a huge role in the value of a lot of good.
     
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  12. joeson332

    joeson332 Member

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    heard some people spent 5 thousand for the Cavs and Rockets game Sunday..........................................................
    I spent 60 lol
     
  13. Jayzers_100

    Jayzers_100 Member

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    I will emphasize hundred(s)...because I could conceivably see up to $100. Now I could understand if you're a wine collector, but if it's purchased to be consumed immediately then it doesn't make too much sense imo. Then again I'm 22....
     
  14. zyt

    zyt Member

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    then it must pains u seeing girls going for lv bags and siht, for what i know, a lot people do that , or luxury meals on company expense,
     
  15. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Contributing Member

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    Where is the link btw?
     
  16. sirbaihu

    sirbaihu Member

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    I do that kind of thing with music. I might have a digital file of a song that I keep upgrading to better versions--.aiff file of 180g vinyl Mobile Fidelity Sound test pressing played on a Scoutmaster turntable--just coz I have to feel I am experiencing the absolute best.

    If I drink a $500 bottle of wine, I will feel like I finally know what wine really tastes like.
     
  17. Liberon

    Liberon Rookie

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    wine is unbearable for me...
     
  18. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    $500 is the most i've ever spent on a bottle, but it was a '47 bordeaux, and in context, felt like a bargain.

    plus, i expensed it.

    nice TT btw, i had a Traveler briefly, before deciding on an Avid. the Scout II looks very attractive.
     
    #18 basso, Mar 4, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2015
  19. T_Man

    T_Man Contributing Member

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    Hmmm....

    Instead of hundreds of dollars for wine let's invest in these...

    Only about 300.00 and up...

    [​IMG]

    T_Man
     

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