es folks, you read that right. AB-Inbev purchased a minority stake in the beer rating website RateBeer through it’s “global disruptive growth group” ZX Ventures. But the deal isn’t exactly new. In fact, it closed this past October following eight months of talks. It went unannounced to both the public and RateBeer stakeholders because the two sides wanted to get “points on the board” to prove the value of the partnership without the “disruption” of making it public. As of June 2nd 2017 AB InBev confirmed that it has in fact invested in RateBeer.
A little history: RateBeer as a beer rating website has been around since 2001 and is one of the best known beer rating websites. People often look to it’s “Top 50 Beers” to see what the best and rarest beers are and hopefully get their hands on one of them and many stores have their shelf tags letting people know what a particular beer rates on their website to help people to make a more informed choice about what beer they want to purchase. They were the first beer rating website but wasn’t well known in the beginning.
So why would Ab-InBev want to purchase a beer rating website devoted to Craft Beer ratings? According to Samantha Roth, ZX spokesperson, “It’s insights into consumer trends. It’s a better understanding of the beer consumer, and the beer markets globally. That’s really going to help us kind of keep our finger on the pulse.”
Joe Tucker, founder of rateBeer: “Many people are probably surprised that our modest little company would be of interest to ZX Ventures, AB InBev’s tech-friendly growth division. We were definitely surprised too. There are few suitable companions for a very unique company like ours, a small niche tech-driven online publisher, and far fewer still in a position to not only buy in but also expand our scope and vision.”
With the introduction of other beer rating websites such as Beer Advocate and Untappd, vying for market share can be pretty hard even though you are a very established website. Joe T. is the only full time employee at RateBeer and trying to keep up with the demands of technology has been very difficult for him and ZX Ventures will be able to provide him with resources and infrastructure in order to keep moving forward.
He said, “I’ve never been more excited about RateBeer’s future and our ability to achieve new heights.”. This small acquistion will be able to help him expand his technology and provide a better user experience for his web visitor.
Here’s the full announcement from Joe Tucker: