About Cru

Our Mission

Cru was founded with one simple goal, to:
Build the world's most trusted and user-friendly platform for managing Fine Wine and Spirits.
After years of patient development, we are a long way towards achieving our goal. Tens of thousands of clients, all over the world, now use the Cru platform to buy, store, trade, manage and deliver the world’s finest wines and spirits.

Our Values

We are defined and guided by our four core values

Assurance

Trust & security guaranteed
Our primary responsibility (with almost US$100 million of fine wine/spirits under custody) is to provide trusted and secure infrastructure for the safe management and delivery of fine wine and spirits. This we do through our network of top-quality warehouses, transporters and couriers; and through a large team of trained and professional account managers and operations personnel.

Commitment

To putting our clients first
Many companies pay lip service to putting ‘clients first’ - but few walk the walk. Cru has repeatedly lowered its fees, removed charges and reduced its prices; whilst simultaneously adding new functionality and services for clients (without charge). We are not prisoners to agency contracts, so we can always provide dispassionate advice on what is best for you to buy (not what we are obliged to sell). Unlike others, we focus solely on private clients, and hence are not distracted servicing on-trade or other B2B businesses.

Fairness

In price competitiveness & customer service
Fine wine is expensive enough as it is. It doesn’t need unjustifiable extra margins and charges layered on top. We always strive to offer our products at the lowest possible price.

Dedication

To a more sustainable future
We take our responsibility towards our planet very seriously. Cru was the first major fine wine company to publish and implement a comprehensive Sustainability Strategy (in 2019), and since then we have implemented a number of initiatives to reduce and then offset our carbon emissions.

Our History

Cru is a contemporary company (founded in 2013). It represents the vision of co-founders Simon Farr (Chairman) and Jeremy Howard (Chief Executive), who both share the desire to harness new technology to improve the experience of fine wine collectors.
With investment from a European investment firm, we initially acquired two existing businesses (with great teams and allocations), and they form the foundation of today’s Cru. Our UK business started life as Bibendum Fine Wines way back in 1982. This is the source of many of our blue-chip allocations in Burgundy and Bordeaux.
Our second acquisition was an established business in Hong Kong (Slurp.asia). In August 2014 we opened an office and warehouse in Singapore.
An office in Beijing was added to the network in 2021, and in Q4 2021 we signed a lease on our newest facility in San Francisco.
Since our first day, we have prioritised technical development - and we maintain an in-house development team which continues to build our proprietary software platform.
Cru has grown its client base rapidly, and today we have over 30,000 client accounts. We operate six transactional websites (USA, UK, EU, Hong Kong, Singapore and China), all with prices and payments in local currencies.
Cru has grown its annual revenues very rapidly, from just US$12 million in 2014 to over US$60 million in 2021.

Our Team

Cru is led by Jeremy Howard (co-founder and CEO) and by co-founder and Chairman Simon Farr. Simon is a 49-year industry veteran who was heavily involved in setting up both Majestic Wine and Bibendum in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Jeremy had a long and distinguished career in investment banking (Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank) before becoming an investor and entrepreneur in the fine wine/spirits sector in 2006.
Working with Jeremy and Simon are a large team of experienced account managers, operations experts, promotional managers, event co-ordinators and finance professionals located in the United Kingdom, France, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Thailand and the USA. In addition, we have a fine whisky expert (George Stewart), who is responsible for sourcing our fabulous range of rare fine whisky (in bottle and cask formats).
Many of our team have WSET qualifications, and all are great lovers of fine wine and spirits.
Simon Farr Chairman & Co-Founder
Jeremy Howard CEO & Co-Founder

Our Milestones

2013
2013
  • June
    Cru is conceived and funded, Jeremy Howard joins as co-founder and CEO
  • November
    Bibendum Fine Wines acquired
2014
  • January
    Slurp.asia (Hong Kong) is acquired
  • August
    Cru opens office in Singapore
2014
2017
2017
  • November
    Cru is named Best Online Retailer 2017 by Drinks Business magazine
2018
  • November
    Cru is named Best Online Retailer 2018 by Drinks Business magazine
  • September
    Cru launches world’s first fine wine trading App
  • October
    Cru formally exits B2B business to focus solely on private clients
2018
2019
2019
  • September
    Cru publishes fine wine’s first comprehensive Sustainability Plan
2020
  • June
    Cru passes 30,000 client accounts
  • November
    Cru launches dedicated YouTube channel for investment education
  • December
    Cru launches ‘Managed Portfolios’ product for high-net-worth clients
2020
2021
2021
  • May
    Cru opens office in China
  • November
    Cru mourns the loss of its longest serving team member Ben Collins.
    Cru signs lease on office in San Francisco
2022
  • QI
    Cru exceeds US$100 million under management on the platform (projected)
2022

Our Partnerships

Cru has built what we believe to be the most comprehensive global infrastructure for owning, trading and managing fine wine and spirits.
Our network includes over 1,000 different producers and suppliers (all over the world), some connected to Cru through state-of-the-art APIs. In addition, we have 12 different warehouse partners - in America, Europe and Asia (most networked to Cru through EDI technology).
We have numerous transporter and delivery company relationships, which enable us to deliver wine and spirits across the globe.
Our payment processing partnerships allow us to accept payments in US Dollars, British Pounds, Chinese Renminbi, Hong Kong Dollars, Singapore Dollars and Euros.
We have an integration with the Liv-ex.com exchange in London to connect our clients to a major liquidity centre.

What our client’s say

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