When Funke Tega Phillips started writing about her Beverage drinking experience on her Instagram page @TheBeverageRoom in 2015, she simply wanted to share her love for wine and other beverages with what she hoped would be an interested audience.
At 16, she wanted to be a travel writer, roaming the globe, drinking wine and penning articles. 13 countries, a Master’s degree in Public Administration and International Relations from the University of Coventry, West Midlands later, she is building The Beverage Room an exciting beverage startup with over 30,000 members on its active community and website, http://thebeverageroom.co/ .
The goal of The Beverage room is to build the largest hub and community of Beverage lovers giving members an opportunity to learn, make new connections and share about their favourite beverages and get rewards for brand loyalty.
Beverages most discussed on the platform range from popular alcoholic beverages like Cognacs, Beer, cocktails to non-alcoholic beverages like Tea, Coffee, etc. She says there is a growing Coffee crowd on the platform with constant battles between tea and coffee lovers.
Since the launch of the community in July, they have had more than 5 global events celebrating different holidays and group inspired events.
The Beverage room serves different purposes in the beverage ecosystem;
- To Beverage Brands: The platform gives brands the opportunity to understand the life of a typical beverage lover, predicting spending patterns, rewarding loyalty, getting other behavioural information, carrying out activations, etc.
- To Restaurants and Bars: The platform provides an opportunity for restaurant/bar owners to reach their customers.
- Ecommerce: The platform provides an ecommerce platform for members to purchase all their beverage merchandise as well as special TBR recommended beverages.
Last week, they launched a Rewards card which gives members the opportunity to get cash backs from more than 10 merchants including Genesis Deluxe Cinemas, one of the biggest Cinema franchises in Nigeria. They also launched a digital magazine for Beverage lovers called “DISCOVER” which features DJ Obi, who recently broke the Guinness Book of Records for most hours played by a DJ.
On how she has being able to manage the platform so far without much Startup experience. She says partnering with Ifeanyi Abraham, a Public Relations, digital and influencer marketing expert in 2017 has been one of the best things to happen to the vision, as a lot of things have shaped up better since then.
On next levels, she says they are looking to grow the platform to the first 100,000 users by April, organizing a conference and working on a few other things including an app, better community management and partnerships that she believes will truly lead to more opportunities for Beverage lovers across Africa.