Blackbird Labs Secures $24M Series A Round Led by A16z Crypto

The hospitality industry customer loyalty app helps restaurants to directly connect, reward and incentivise their customers to return.
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Quick take:

  • Blackbird Labs has raised $24 million in a Series A round led by A16z.
  • Amex Ventures, Bolt by QED, Union Square Ventures, Shine Capital and Variant also participated in the round.
  • Blackbird will use the new funds to scale its operations amid soaring demand from restaurants for customer loyalty solutions.

Blackbird Labs, a customer loyalty solutions provider focused on the hospitality industry has announced a $24 million funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz (A16z). The company offers an app that helps restaurants to directly connect and reward their guests, as well as, incentivize them to return.

The fundraising also attracted participation from new investors Amex Ventures and Bolt by QED, as well as, Union Square Ventures, Shine Capital and Variant as returning investors. Leading restaurant chains, Quality Branded, Rustic Canyon Family, Souvla and Brooks Reitz also joined the round.

Blackbird said it will use the new funding to scale its operations amid a soaring demand for its services. An increasing number of restaurants across the country have shown an interest in Blackbird Labs’ customer loyalty solution as they seek to create new revenue streams.

“We’ve just experienced two decades of declining margins and eroding direct customer relationships in the restaurant industry,”  said Ben Leventhal, founder and CEO of Blackbird. 

“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. Adding incredible investors like A16z, Amex Ventures and Bolt by QED will be crucial to us achieving our goals.”

Leventhal’s company has already struck deals with more than 80 leading restaurant chains in the US, and 22 of those are already live in its customer loyalty program. Some of the notable brands include New York-based Anton’s, Corner Bar, Crown Shy, Di An Di, Ensenada, Ernesto’s, Estela, Fish Cheeks, Freeman’s, Francie, Gertrude’s, Hanoi House, Joseph Leonard, Momofuku, Nami Nori, and Principe, among others.

Blackbird’s app allows restaurant chains to gather insights about their customers’ likes and dislikes, including sitting preferences and the number of visits to a particular restaurant.

In May 2023, Blackbird launched its native token $FLY. The non-transferable on-platform token enables customers to benefit from their activity in all participating restaurants, allowing them to redeem their perks instantly or in the future.

“We are excited about adding Blackbird into our restaurants,” said Jon Shook of Jon & Vinny’s. “This impressive technology will actively help us serve and engage our great customers on an even deeper level, and, in turn, allow them to further invest in their relationships with our restaurants. It’s a journey we’re thrilled to take together.”

Arianna Simpson, General Partner at A16z Crypto added: “Blackbird’s platform is easy, fun, and delightful to use. With just a few taps, diners can unlock new loyalty programs that only web3 technology can provide. We believe the first wave of restaurants and experiences powered by Blackbird are only the beginning of what’s possible.”


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