One of the great joys of living in New York City is never being more than a few minutes away from an amazing meal.
Restaurants have long provided patrons with great food, a social scene, and entertainment. While the restaurant industry has evolved to create more value for diners, cities, and societies, they often lack the profit margins to show for it.
We’ve seen blockchains enable a direct connection between creators and their fans in music and art, where they let creators identify, engage, and reward their most loyal, devoted fans.
What if restaurants could do the same? What would this mean for the types of experiences they could create for their patrons – and their bottom line?
Building products for restaurants is tricky – ownership is often fragmented, with few economies of scale, and the technology in and of itself is rarely a selling point. But sometimes we’re lucky enough to meet a deeply thoughtful founder who is operating so squarely within their area of expertise— now backed with the tailwinds of a new technological unlock — that the decision to invest is an easy one.
Led by CEO and Founder Ben Leventhal, Blackbird seeks to reward and delight consumers with elevated dining experiences, powered and personalized by web3.
When it comes to restaurants, Ben is the definition of founder market fit. It’s painful to remember a time before booking restaurant reservations online, let alone reviewing restaurants online — and Ben is one of the people we have to thank for that. Most recently, Ben was Co-Founder and CEO of Resy, the platform that manages bookings for the world’s most popular restaurants, which he sold to American Express in 2019. Long before that, Ben co-founded Eater in 2005, the online who’s who of the US food and nightlife scene.
As we were getting to know each other over lunch, I told Ben that it feels like Blackbird is the natural culmination of the last twenty years of his career. His eyes lit up. “YES,” he said, “That’s exactly it. I’ve been working toward this my entire life”.
Ben loves restaurants. And the restaurants love him back.
Blackbird has only been live for a few months, and we’re already seeing the restaurant community adopt and shape the platform. Restaurants are using Blackbird to offer patrons rewards ranging from free drinks and bites, to off-menu items, to private meals prepared by a chef in the comfort of your own home, and allowing users to pre-purchase memberships to newly opening restaurants.
There’s an endless world of delicious possibilities. That’s why today, we’re so excited to announce that we’re leading Blackbird’s $24M Series A to fuel that future.
To discover all the restaurants in the Blackbird network, and see a list of restaurants launching soon, go to Blackbird.xyz and check out Where to Blackbird.
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