- Hospitality tech firm Blackbird Labs has secured a $24 million investment for its blockchain-based hospitality product
- 22 restaurants already use its platform which aims to revolutionize the connection between restaurants and patrons
- A16z led the funding round with other big names also pitching in
Hospitality technology firm Blackbird Labs yesterday announced that it has secured $24 million in funding, spearheaded by a16z, as it tries to revolutionize the industry with blockchain technology. The investment will support the expansion of Blackbird’s operations and its mission to offer restaurants innovative tools for enhancing customer loyalty and generating additional revenue streams within the hospitality industry. Blackbird’s platform facilitates direct communication and rewards between restaurants and customers, with over 22 restaurants already signed up.
Blackbird Already Flying
As the dining industry faces increased fragmentation and limited direct communication with patrons, Blackbird helps restaurants foster stronger customer relationships, boost loyalty, and provide personalized experiences. The platform, which enables restaurants to gain valuable insights into customer preferences, seating preferences, and visit frequency, has seen noted establishments such as Jon & Vinny’s (Los Angeles), Souvla (San Francisco), and Razza Pizza (Jersey City) sign up.
Diners use Blackbird by tapping their phone on an NFC reader upon arrival and entering their phone number to create a membership. They can unlock benefits, insider perks, and rewards through the platform’s native token, $FLY, with the company utilizing its own embedded wallet, built by Privy. Blackbird plans to expand its offerings into new markets, introducing features such as $FLY Redemption, a referral program, and global data sharing to provide restaurants with comprehensive insights and enhance the dining experience.
Commenting on the funding round, Ben Leventhal, founder and CEO of Blackbird, emphasized the importance of loyalty and connectivity in the restaurant industry:
I love this industry, but it is time to face industry economic challenges head-on and make bold changes. Loyalty and connectivity are the next frontier and we’re excited to be leading on this path forward.
The idea of dining on the blockchain smacks of the ‘everything on the blockchain’ craze of 2017, but in this case there is actually a working product and a much more professional take on the use of blockchain technology.