When we first covered Belly last year, the Chicago-based startup was in the process of taking ownership as the Windy City’s go-to customer loyalty mobile app. Today not only has Belly announced expansion into the New York and Boston markets (for a total of 8 markets including Madison, Milwaukee, Miami, Austin, and Phoenix), but they’ve also added a $10 million Series B from Andreessen Horowitz. Good day.
Belly CEO and founder, Logan Lahive, sees this latest investment from Andreessen Horowitz as a huge vote of confidence:
If you look through the investments they [Andreessen Horowitz] have made outside of The Valley, it’s incredibly small – Fab, Skype, Foursquare – particularly in our stage. This is pretty validating – we feel we’re in the best position to be the leading universal loyalty app program. It’s up to us to continue to build and scale.”
In addition to the funding, they’ve also added former OpenTable CEO and Andreessen Horowitz partner Jeff Jordan to the their board. In his most recent blog post, Jordan cites many reasons for this decision, including, “Belly is attacking the market aggressively and has already signed up over 1,400 merchants and 200,000 consumers since launching last August. This is not particularly surprising as their original funding came from Brad Keywell and Eric Lefkofsky at Lightbank, whose investment Groupon acquired merchants at a blistering pace. We are psyched to work with Brad and Eric on Belly.”
“Today we announced that we’re expanding into New York City and Boston, that we’ve taken on a series B, but in my opinion the addition of Jeff Jordan is the most exciting part of the entire announcement. From day one – it never really felt a startup pitching a VC, it felt more like a partnership; a conversation with a guy who got it.” Lahive adds, “Not just having him sitting on the board but working and engaging with us and scaling the business is incredibly exciting. I feel like I’m learning things about Belly reading through his blog post today. He’s wicked fucking smart; I’m thrilled to have him on the team.”
It was March 31, 2011 when Lahive first met Ryan Jeffrey, Belly’s VP of Business Development, and Brian Ficho, Lightbank‘s then-Founder in Residence (where Lahive would go onto work before starting Belly). The occasion?
Tech Cocktail’s Chicago Mixer.
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