CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Belly, the industry-leading customer loyalty and marketing platform, announced today that it has secured an initial tranche of $12.1 million Series B-1 round of venture capital financing from New Enterprise Associates, Andreessen Horowitz, DAG Ventures, Lightbank, Cisco and 7-Ventures, LLC (a subsidiary of 7-Eleven, Inc.).
The company is poised to expand its core product offering, further establishing itself as a leader in the market, thanks to the new finance round from some of the most prominent investment influencers in the world. In just 24 months, Belly has established itself as a clear leader in providing a complete loyalty and marketing solution for retailers large and small, and now has more than $28 million in funding to expand further.
“We first invested in Belly 15 months ago based on team vision and product potential, but the opportunity was still in its infancy,” said Jeff Jordan, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz and member of Belly’s Board of Directors. “Since then, we’ve watched Belly develop into the definitive leader in the space and execute on the revolutionary product it has built. Andreessen Horowitz is excited to further our commitment to this remarkable company.”
Belly enables merchants of all sizes to digitally connect with their customers through a completely customized rewards program tailored to the personality of each business. The company’s innovative solution allows businesses to drive customers back more often, establish social connections to increase engagement, facilitate online customer reviews, target new customer audiences and gain valuable data and analytics on customer behavior.
As part of this enterprise platform evolution, Belly is also actively working with more than 50 national chains representing over 700 current locations - a total market potential of more than 40,000 locations nationwide.
"In the past 18 months, we've watched Belly scale quickly and have seen through our test with this network the value Belly can provide to 7-Eleven," said Raja Doddala, vice president of portfolio management for 7 Ventures, LLC. "By becoming an investor, 7-Eleven can learn how successful digital-loyalty networks drive consumer traffic and engagement offline.”
Belly provides the entire technology platform, including the in-store tablet, marketing materials and back-end support and analytics combined with a software tool that gives merchants the ability to conduct targeted email campaigns, integrate Belly with their social media and mobile marketing efforts, and obtain detailed analytics.
“While we’re impressed with the adoption of Belly’s core product of customer loyalty, it’s the depth of the consumer interaction Belly fosters that most excites us,” said Tom Grossi, partner at NEA. “Belly’s in-store tablets are becoming a gateway for its merchants to initiate lasting connections with their customers, gaining valuable feedback while enhancing those relationships in between visits.”
“We are extremely excited to welcome our new investment partners to the Belly family,” said Logan LaHive, founder and CEO of Belly. “This new round of capital will allow Belly to continue to expand our team, meet existing customer and market demand, and scale for future growth. We view this round as validation for what we’ve built but remain fully aware of all that we still need to accomplish. We couldn’t be more excited to share our mission with these new investors.”
Belly is the leading loyalty platform in the country. With thousands of merchants and millions of members, Belly revolutionizes traditional loyalty concepts and works with each business to design a customized, unique rewards suite their customers actually want. Using a tablet and single card or iPhone or Android app, Belly unlocks new opportunities for customer engagement and digital advocacy. Belly is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois and received funding from Andreessen Horowitz, Silicon Valley Bank, Lightbank, NEA, DAG Ventures, Cisco, and 7-Ventures, LLC (a subsidiary of 7-Eleven, Inc.). For more information, visit www.bellycard.com.
About Andreessen Horowitz
Andreessen Horowitz backs bold entrepreneurs who move fast, think big and are committed to building the next major franchises in technology. Founded by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, we provide entrepreneurs with access to our deep expertise and insights in innovation, business development, market intelligence, executive and technical talent, and marketing and brand building. Find us in Menlo Park, Calif., and at www.a16z.com.
About 7-Ventures LLC
7-Ventures, LLC, is a subsidiary of 7-Eleven, Inc. currently focused on early stage investments in new food & beverage categories, new retail business models, and next generation customer engagement and payment networks & technologies.
About New Enterprise Associates
New Enterprise Associates, Inc. (NEA) is a leading venture capital firm focused on helping entrepreneurs build transformational businesses across multiple stages, sectors and geographies. With more than $14 billion in committed capital, NEA invests in information technology, healthcare and energy technology companies at all stages in a company’s lifecycle, from seed stage through IPO. The firm’s long track record of successful investing includes more than 170 portfolio company IPOs and more than 300 acquisitions. In the U.S., NEA has offices in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area; Menlo Park, California; and New York City. In addition, New Enterprise Associates (India) Pvt. Ltd. has offices in Bangalore and Mumbai, India and New Enterprise Associates (Beijing), Ltd. has offices in Beijing and Shanghai, China. For more information, visit www.nea.com.