DRINKS CEO, Direct to Consumer Innovator

Zac Brandenberg - DRINKS CEO, Direct to Consumer Innovator


Zac Brandenberg is the co-founder and CEO of Drinks Holdings, Inc. (www.drinks.com). DRINKS operates one of the largest Direct to Consumer (DTC) wine marketplaces in the United States and a proprietary Wine as a Service (WaaS) platform, the only ship-to-home solution that empowers both digital and brick-and-mortar retailers to market high quality wine for delivery around the United States. Leveraging the nation’s leading DTC wine data repository and patented PAIR technology, DRINKS maximizes engagement by generating customized store shelves and wine assortments to match prospective customers with the right wines for its platform partners and its Wine Insiders and Martha Stewart Wine Co. digital properties.

Zac is a serial entrepreneur focused on accelerating digital disruption in verticals lacking innovative technology solutions. In early 2003, while running a boutique media agency, Zac launched an ecommerce business focused on patriotism and Americana and secured exclusive rights to reprint the “Iraqi Most Wanted” playing cards developed by the US Military. In what was one of the fastest product launches on the Internet, the business sold millions of decks of cards entirely driven by online marketing and was featured nationally. Behind the scenes, the company quickly scaled up infrastructure with its own custom ecommerce software to manage thousands of orders an hour. Simultaneously, Zac established relationships with hundreds of Internet media publishers demanding to advertise the hottest product on the Internet. 

This rapid success illuminated an opportunity in the nascent MarTech industry – today valued around $100 billion globally – to develop a trusted platform for digital ad tracking and a marketplace to connect advertisers with media publishers. Later that year, Zac founded Hydra, a performance-based, multichannel digital ad platform that reached annual revenues in excess of $100 million in less than 5 years and ranked in the Top 10 of the INC 500 as early as 2007.  Hydra delivered upwards of 11 million new sales, leads, and ad engagements a year for many of the largest and best-known consumer product and service companies and was acquired in 2010 by Adknowledge, the largest privately held digital marketplace.

Zac has also been an active investor and Board member in several consumer goods and technology-focused businesses, including Dogswell (acquired by TSG Consumer Partners) and Teleparent (acquired by Edline, LLC/Providence Equity).

Zac received a dual B.A. in Economics-Accounting and Government from Claremont McKenna College and lives in Los Angeles, CA with his family.