Morten Fillipsen

VP Asia, Vivino

Vivino is the world’s largest online community of wine drinkers, with an app designed to help people research, learn about and buy excellent wine. The best bottles always rise to the top—Vivino’s 31 million users contribute ratings for millions of wines from around the globe, a collective database that forms the largest wine library in the world.

Vivino was Originally founded in Denmark and Morten Fillipsen and Morten Fillipsen came on board to drive its expansion into Asia. Morten is originally from Denmarktoo, but first moved to China in 1997, and he’s spent a decade living in Asia since then. Wine is his passion.

“Vivino is trying to make wine drinking more accessible for everybody, which I strongly believe in,” he says. “We have close to 10 million wines in our database—we help people identify which wine styles fit their taste, and help them buy wine they’ll love.”

There has been a significant increase in demand for wine in Asian markets, so it made sense for Vivino to launch an office in Hong Kong. “Particularly in China there is huge growth, and Hong Kong is already an established wine hub,” says Morten.

While Vivino’s attention is directed towards Hong Kong at the moment, it’s planning its next moves into markets in the region. “We want to change the way people buy wine—buy more confidently by finding wines that match your style, and with full price transparency and ease of shopping,” says Morten.

When setting up the company in Hong Kong, Morten was searching for banking solutions, and the business-oriented approach of Neat appealed—as well as its efficiency. “We needed a corporate account, and didn’t have the time and resources to deal with the bureaucracy of local banks,” he says.

Initially, he had a few reservations. “Neat is not a bank—so was it able to handle all the tasks we needed?” he wondered. “So far, yes.”

Moreover, Morten praises Neat’s “great service” and user interface—it’s “doing exactly what we need”, he says, while sidestepping the frustrating qualities of the traditional banking system. “I don’t like dealing with them,” Morten says of traditional banks. “Neat is very different.”