Earlier this year, universal loyalty program Belly announced 1 million users and a plan to hire 150 employees by next year. Only a few short weeks later, the company has raised $12.1 million from a variety of venture and strategic investors as part of a Series B round.
Andreesen Horowitz and Lightbank came back for more, joined by new investors New Enterprise Associates, Cisco Systems and DAG Ventures. Notably, convenience store 7-Eleven’s venture arm, 7-Ventures, joined the fray as well. This past April, 7-Eleven became one of the first national brands—along with McDonald’s, Chick-Fil-A and Subway, to name a few—to sign on to Belly’s platform.
CEO Logan LaHive says the funding will be put toward investing in the team, product and focusing on market saturation. Today, Belly is live in 18 markets with its iPad point-of-sale kiosks in 6,500 locations.
For Belly, continuing to scale will depend largely on the company’s relationships with investors. As such, LaHive was enthusiastic about reconnecting with old contributors and welcoming new ones as well.
“We were excited about the value and partnership that each investor brought to the table,” he says, mentioning a desire to deepen relationships with current investors. “[We’re] welcoming new venture investors that have great connections, expertise, and portfolios in local...and new strategic investors in Cisco and 7-Eleven, each bringing massive value as Belly scales.”
This two-year-old company has raised $25 million to date, with investors who seem to keep returning. So what do they see in Belly? LaHive chalks it up to three factors: a team of talented and dedicated individuals, traction that has given Belly the market lead in only a couple years, and the product, which brings the in-store experience online.
Actually, there’s a fourth factor too.
“Gingers make good founders—that’s purely anecdotal,” says LaHive.