Sustainable wine producer raises a glass to cash boost

Sustainable bag-in-box wine brand, When in Rome, has secured £375,000 funding from Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) West Midlands Equity Fund, managed by Midven, part of the Future Planet Capital Group, for its forward thinking approach to eco-friendly packaging creating up to 10 times less CO2 than a regular glass bottle.

When in Rome has shaken up the wine industry with its Italian craft wines, made by independent producers, and supplied in sustainably sourced packaging. On a mission to make wine with a low carbon footprint as accessible as possible for everyone, the company offers bag-in-box, cans and flat, recycled PET bottles to minimise its impact on the climate.

Having already secured listings with Waitrose and Ocado as well as Amazon, the MEIF funding will allow When in Rome to accelerate its growth by increasing resources, upscaling marketing activities, and expanding distribution. The investment also supports three key hires as well as allowing for two contractor roles.

Midven quickly identified When in Rome’s growth potential and its ability to disrupt the wine industry with alternative format packaging and reduced CO2 emissions. The investment in When in Rome is part of Midven’s green agenda, continuing its commitment to support companies with the environment at heart.

Founded  in 2015 by Rob Malin, When in Rome hand-picks premium quality wine from small and independent Italian producers, who box the wine and send it to the UK by train. Malin met business partners Andrea Marchesi and Lorenzo Canali while travelling to Italy, and using their wine shop in Milan as the facilitator, they forge close connections with small producers, allowing the company to source the best wines from unique vineyards. Thanks to Midven’s investment, When in Rome has created the new role of COO for wine industry veteran Antony Wolowiec and has also been able to appoint Vince Lawson, former Global Head of Marketing at Fever Tree as a Non-Executive Director.

When in Rome has also received investment from 465 Holdings and has been advised by Stephen Murray of Martindale Partners, and Robert Rabone.

Rob Malin, CEO of When in Rome, said, “This strategic investment from Midven and 465 Holdings has come at exactly the right time for our business as we scale up to satisfy consumers’ growing thirst for our premium craft wines in eco-friendly packaging. Thanks to this injection of cash and expertise, we have the opportunity to further grow our range, expand our distribution within the UK and overseas and amplify our marketing to enable our message of quality, value and sustainability to reach more conscious consumers”

 Surjit Kooner, investment director at Midven, said, “When in Rome presents an exciting opportunity to invest in a company which is disrupting a traditional sector. There is an increasing  demand for alt-format wine which is being driven by conscious consumers looking for more sustainable and environmentally friendly brands. When in Rome’s great tasting, authentically Italian products combined with the strength of the management team and green credentials has created an exciting opportunity for us to invest. We look forward to working with Rob and the team.”