De Kuyper Royal Distillers, founded in 1695, is one of the oldest family distilleries in the world. So it was front page news in the Netherlands when Marc De Kuyper, the eldest of the family’s 11th generation, decided in 2018 to launch an independent startup rather than prepare himself to lead the family business.
That startup? Miami-based Overproof. Their platform leverages artificial intelligence to help some of the world’s top alcohol brands track and measure their market presence, field activity, and team performance.
De Kuyper explained that much of the issue with data in the alcohol industry – at least in the US – begins with the constitution. The 21st Amendment of the US Constitution, a post-prohibition addition, essentially mandates the use of distributors.
“Insights from this data are monopolized by these distributors,” De Kuyper [pictured below] told Refresh Miami. “At best, a distributor has 45% of market share,” he said, referring to the largest distributor in the US. This means that distributors can provide some insights – but never a complete picture of the industry.
“Smaller brands are not served with the same insights,” De Kuyper asserted, noting that the distributors are more focused on attracting and retaining the biggest brands out there.
This is where Overproof’s platform comes in. For enterprise businesses, the company offers a wide range of data services to give them clearer insights into how their brand is doing. For smaller brands, Overproof offers a SaaS platform that includes commercial planning and tracking software.
Through Overproof’s portal, users can spend less time on manual research and cold calling, and more time on the accounts that are the right fit for their brand and will drive sales. Their app gives brands features to empower their team to reach sales goals, while their Tastings feature enables data-driven tracking of off-premise sampling programs.
Overproof also has an AI-driven product that lets bars commercialize their POS data. The product enables businesses to sell reports to suppliers that include information such as average check sizes and food items that are ordered with particular drinks. Bars decide how much to sell the reports for, and Overproof takes a small commission. This is valuable intel for suppliers, who can use this information to inform their marketing strategies and better understand specific demographics and regions.
The company’s proprietary menu analysis system includes information from 4.5 million menus, 705 thousand venues, 902 suppliers, 2,302 brands, 12 million menu items, and 6 million cocktails. This enables their customers to create target account sets based on various factors, such as venue type, product category, market, competitor presence, and price point.
“In 2022, we grew to $3.1M ARR in Enterprise and $1.3M ARR in SME,” reports De Kuyper. “This growth is fully attributed to inbound sales, having only brought on a sales team at the end of last year.”
Over the last few months, Overproof has brought on two new investors: L Catterton and Raptor Capital. De Kuyper signaled that he plans to raise a Series A this summer, targeting $20 to $25 million.
Investors are already taking note of the startup’s rise. Last year, Overproof passed on a $258M acquisition opportunity.
For now, De Kuyper is excited to continue building the company – expanding Overproof’s 52-person team (21 of whom are in their Wynwood office) and roster of top-tier clients.
“If you don’t innovate, you’re going to lose long-term,” he said. “So that’s what we’re doing now.”