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Minibar Delivery innovates in highly-regulated alcohol industry

Minibar Delivery’s custom on-demand platform paves way for partnerships and an acquisition.

About

Minibar Delivery is an on-demand alcohol delivery platform, delivering wine, spirits, and beer in under an hour. The marketplace has greatly expanded its footprint over the years, and is best known for connecting consumers to local liquor stores for fast and easy delivery.

“We thought we must be able to press a button, much like we did with our food, to get alcohol delivered. But we realized there was no go-to brand or platform to order alcohol. That’s where Minibar Delivery came from,” says Lindsay Andrews, co-founder and former CEO of Minibar Delivery.

Minibar sought a tech partner to handle the custom build, which required a lot of nuance due to the highly-regulated industry.

With Lumenalta, Minibar Delivery saw:

100K+
Liquor products in its database
30-60
Minutes from order to door
1000+
Cities across the U.S. served

Challenge

To fill the market gap where adults can order alcohol as easily as ordering off a food delivery app, Minibar Delivery needed a tech platform to connect consumers to local liquor stores.

But the highly-regulated, three-tier system of the alcohol industry presented challenges when creating a marketplace:

1. Each state had different laws and taxes

2. Some states even required separate checkouts for beer and wine

3. Each store had a different payment processor that the marketplace needed to integrate with asdasd

Solution

In partnership with Lumenalta, Minibar Delivery launched a front-end website where customers could discover and buy liquor, a back-end site that connected to liquor stores to confirm deliveries, and an iOS and Android app.

As Minibar experienced windfalls from the COVID-19 pandemic (a 500% increase in new customers in March and April of 2020, with overall business up 139%), orders were integrated with DoorDash and other third-party logistics providers to enable easy delivery for stores.

The momentum propelled an enterprise deal with 7-Eleven forward, allowing Minibar to expand delivery into hundreds of new locations and markets and introduce new features, like a scheduled “auto refill” delivery option for consumers.

These partnerships meant new integrations (and complexities) for their tech stacks, which required extra development resources due to the varying amount of inventory and record keeping.

“With Lumenalta, it was really easy to find those engineers in the exact discipline we needed, and roll them on the project. We ended up liking one of the engineers so much, we kept them on full time,” says Andrews.
500%
Increase in new customers in March & April 2020
139%
Overall business increase
100s
New locations created with 7-Eleven enterprise deal

Results

The scale and impact of the partnership caught the attention of potential acquirers for Minibar Delivery, and the company was acquired in 2021.

“I’m not a technical co-founder, and throughout the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) process, potential acquirers wanted to do technical diligence — so we relied on Lumenalta,” says Andrews. “The team was very good at selling the benefits of Minibar Delivery.”

Because of the long standing relationship between Lumenalta and Minibar, the Lumenalta team “knew the product in and out. It felt like they were part of our team,” says Andrews.

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