Heini Zachariassen steps down as CEO for Vivino

Seed Capital
3 min readJun 28, 2018

Since 2010, Vivino has experienced tremendous growth. Through the years, Heini Zachariassen has been the face of the company and instrumental in bringing the company to its position today. He has since the beginning held the position as CEO of Vivino but is now stepping down. Former StubHub president Chris Tsakalakis will take his seat. Heini Zachariassen stays on as board member and chief evangelist.

It all started in a basement in 2010. Heini Zachariassen and Theis Søndergaard, who had previously founded BullGuard together, were annoyed by the fact that it was practically impossible to know what wine to buy.

The idea was to create an online community with crowdsourced ratings of wine from all over the world. By scanning a wine label, the user could find ratings from 1–5 and the average price for exactly that bottle. Now it has turned in to something much more than that.

The user base has grown from 12.000 in 2011 to a massive 29 million users as of right now. More than 550 million wine labels have been scanned through the app and 89 million reviews have been made.

Due to the impressive investment rounds, Vivino has managed to raise, they have been able to develop their platform to include a marketplace for wine. Through their series A, B and C investment rounds they have raised a total of $57 million. By 2020, Vivino aims to sell more than $1 billion bottles of wine, and as things are now, they look likely to succeed.

Heini, Theis and the Vivino team has done nothing short of an amazing job getting Vivino ready for commercial take-off. The company’s recent expansion of their value proposition adding on an eCommerce marketplace takes the business to the next stage in its development. The time is therefore right to bring in someone with the right skills and expertise for this next part of the journey.

“Heini has done an extraordinary job leading Vivino to become the number 1 wine app in the world. He has been instrumental in the transformation from an app to an actual community with users, who just love the product. A great feature in a CEO is knowing when to hand over the responsibility to someone who has the skill set matching the company’s stage. Heini saw this and at the same time we are pleased that he will resume the positions in Vivino as both a board member and the chief evangelist.” Says our Managing Partner, Ulla Brockenhuus-Schack.

During Chris Tsakalakis’ eight-year tenure at StubHub, the company grew into the world’s largest ticket marketplace and changed the way millions buy and sell tickets. He will bring that experience to Vivino and help the company achieve $1 billion in annual sales, expand into new markets, roll out new ecommerce products, and expand offerings for retail partners to use Vivino to market to consumers.

We are looking forward to helping Vivino to its next level and we are certain that Chris Tsakalakis is the right man for this job. At the same time, we are extremely proud of what Heini has been able to do and the success he has created together with his co-founder Theis Søndergaard.



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