Belly announces first international expansion as it staffs up locally

by Maura Gaughan
June 30, 2014
Belly, the Chicago-based business that is one-part loyalty reward program and one-part marketing tool, announced today that it is expanding into its first international market: Vancouver, British Columbia. So far, the company has signed on 50 businesses in the Canadian territory and is hiring a local team to drive expansion.

[ibimage==38019==Large==none==self==ibimage_align-center]

“We’ve worked tirelessly to build the team and processes needed to grow internationally. Vancouver is where we’ve started,” said Belly CEO and Founder Logan LaHive in a statement

In addition to the news of international expansion, Belly announced the hire of Fred Lee as the Vice President of Engineering. Lee, who was formerly the CTO of Enova, will lead the company’s efforts to develop more marketing tools for small businesses. So far in 2014, the company has added 50 people to its roster - predominantly in sales and engineering; now Belly employs 120 people.

Within the digital loyalty network are 7,000 businesses and 3 million members. Culmatively, there have been 30-million check-ins and over one-million rewards claimed.

Belly launched in August 2011 to digitize the traditional (and often misplaced) “punch card” loyalty system. With Belly, familiar faces turn into critical data; instead of just giving away pie for a business card with ten holes punched in it, a business can give away a pie for insightful, useful data about their customers. On the backend, this information is turned into marketing solutions, customized reward programs and, recently, e-mail marketing campaigns.

“We want Belly to be a name that is synonymous with giving businesses the ability to bring their in-store experiences online and giving customers one app to use at all of their favorite places,” said LaHive.

From the Chicago bootstrapper, who can earn a free cup ‘o joe for working day-in and day-out of the same cafe, to the Fortune 500 franchise, like Subway which gives away a free bag of chips for 50 points (certain locations apply), the loyalty system was built to reward both sides of the transaction.

This year Belly was nominated in four categories of the 2014 Built In Chicago Moxie Awards.

 

Chicago startup guides

LOCAL GUIDE
Best Companies to Work for in Chicago
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Software Engineer Jobs in Chicago
LOCAL GUIDE
Coolest Offices in Chicago Tech
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Sales Jobs in Chicago
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Perks at Chicago Tech Companies
LOCAL GUIDE
Your Guide to Healthtech in Chicago
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Data Science & Data Analyst Jobs in Chicago
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Marketing Jobs in Chicago