Blackbird Labs Raises $24M in Series A Funding

Blackbird Labs

Blackbird Labs, a NYC-based hospitality technology company, raised $24M in Series A funding.

The round was led by a16z, with participation from Amex Ventures and Bolt by QED, as well as the its previous seed investors like Union Square Ventures, Shine, Variant, plus restaurant groups Quality Branded, Rustic Canyon Family, Souvla and Brooks Reitz.

The company intends to use the funds to scale operations and its business reach.

Led by Ben Leventhal, Founder and CEO, Blackbird is a loyalty and membership company, focused on leveraging direct connectivity between restaurants and their guests. It offers a customizable loyalty programming platform for restaurants and a consumer app that acts as a user’s wallet where they can manage their memberships, view $FLY balance, monitor recent activity and message restaurants in one place.

When customers arrive at a restaurant, they tap their phone on a Blackbird NFC reader and enter their phone number to create their membership. From there they start leveling up their regular status with each subsequent tap-in, thus unlocking benefits and insider perks like surprise off menu items and even a direct SMS concierge. They also earn $FLY, Blackbird’s non-transferable native token, which can be used to power up for specific items they might want or they can also use them for membership rewards with a specific restaurant. Users also don’t need to have a pre-existing web3 wallet. The company works with Privy to provide embedded wallets, so users who sign in with their phone number get a self-custodial wallet for use. Users are able to manage their memberships, view $FLY balance, monitor recent activity and message restaurants all through the Blackbird app.

In just a few months, Blackbird has attacted over 80 restaurants in the industry, with 22 restaurants already live. This set includes┬áNew York┬árestaurants like: Anton’s, Corner Bar, Crown Shy,┬áDi An Di, Ensenada, Ernesto’s, estela, Fish Cheeks, Freeman’s, Francie, gertrude’s, Hanoi House,┬áJoseph Leonard, Momofuku,┬áNami Nori,┬áPrincipe, Overstory, and SAGA; Jon & Vinny’s (LA), Souvla (San Francisco), Daytrip (Oakland), Little Jack’s Tavern (Charleston), The Daily (Charleston), Melfi’s (Charleston),┬áRazza Pizza┬á(Jersey City).