Next Glass is a tech company focused on the alcohol industry, and it’s been busy growing by acquisition. The Wilmington, N.C.-based beer software and services company netted three whales in the digital beer and beverage alcohol space last year — BeerAdvocate, Hop Culture and Oznr (formerly CraftCellr). To complement that trio, Next Glass already owned Untappd and Untappd for Business. Now, Next Glass has just announced the acquisition of Vancouver-based Ollie Order, a leading Canadian omnichannel multi-tenant alcohol marketplace platform. Ollie facilitates all aspects of transactions between buyers, logistics providers and suppliers in the beverage-alcohol industry (fulfillment and accounting to inventor and government reporting). According to the press release:
As the number of craft producers, including breweries, wineries, cideries and distilleries has grown globally, SKU counts have proliferated and complicated the ordering process. While this explosion of growth is a positive for the industry and consumers, it adds significant complexity to the buying and selling ecosystem. Beverage alcohol retailers and on-premise venues, along with the craft producers themselves, have struggled to navigate the fragmented ordering process which includes email, phone, fax and text and which often requires duplicate data entry in multiple systems such as government reporting, accounting, logistics, inventory management, and payment processing.
Ollie removes friction from this system, simplifying the process and benefitting producers, wholesalers, retailers, and, ultimately, consumers. The platform’s robust suite of features empowers users to easily manage inventory, distribution, payments, customer relationships and sales. This breakthrough in efficiency and connectivity provides a wider array of craft producers’ products to be readily available to a growing consumer base.
Next Glass is specializing in connecting alcohol makers, distributors, sellers and customers with digital tools. Combined, the company is an impressive network of online communities, media outlets, event services, marketing offerings, sales systems and alcohol software solutions. Let’s recap a few properties…
Let’s start with Untappd, beer’s most famous geosocial networking app. While drinking copious amounts of brews, users share locations, earn badges, give ratings and soak up beer culture via smartphones. You already know it, but do you know about Untappd for Business, which helps breweries, bars and drinkeries market to Untappd’s 9 million users in a variety of ways: sharing beer menus; maximizing visibility through in-app and social promotions; analytics services; and a one-stop publishing portal to the likes of Untappd, Facebook and beyond.
In February 2020, Next Glass announced it had acquired certain assets of BeerAdvocate, famous for its website, beer discussion forums, beer fests and beer trading community.
In October 2020, Next Glass released Oznr. Formerly known as CraftCellr, Oznr is a direct-to-consumer software system aimed at helping craft beverage producers and retailers manage the day-to-day operations of DTC sales and to-go orders with a special focus on memberships, can and bottle releases, pre-sales and random draws for high demand releases. Unlike Drizly, which partners with retailers, or Tavour, which buys inventory and sells direct to the consumer, Oznr partners with the brewer or alcohol producer for DTC sales.
Late last year, Next Glass acquired Hop Culture, a consumer-facing online beer publication that maintains one of the largest craft beer Instagram accounts in the world. Hop Culture has also thrown 30 plus beer festivals.
We’ll keep you updated on future moves.