Morning Minute | Blackbird Takes Flight After $24M Raise

Morning Minute | Blackbird Takes Flight After $24M Raise

TylerD's Market Summary

Blackbird is redefining restaurant loyalty programs with web3 - find out how it works, plus catch up on a marathon day in the Friend Tech market.

๐Ÿ‘จ‍๐Ÿณ Blackbird Completes $24M Raise

Blackbird founder Ben Leventhal noticed a problem in the food industry - a decline in the genuine connection between diners and eateries.

Third-party delivery apps and the demise of direct reservation lines certainly didn't help.

So he sought out to fix the problem, using web3.

Enter Blackbird, which revives the “old school maître d’ mind-set” for the modern age. 

And now a16z wants in - and is writing some big checks.

The Details

Here are the basics for

  • Founder: Ben Leventhal, previously of Eater and Resy
  • Funding: Raised $24 million through a16z. Previously, $11 million seed money and investment from American Express.
  • Functionality: First app allowing real-time texting between restaurants and members.
  • Offerings: Tracks diner visits, provides rewards like free cocktails and birthday discounts with points accruing in "fly" credits

Upon signing up (for free), diners are tagged, their visits tracked, and repeat customers are rewarded with perks.

This happens via a membership card issued by each participating restaurant, which contains the diner's history and membership tier. It updates each time a user checks in, unlocking more rewards.

To date, about 20 trendy restaurants in Manhattan and Brooklyn have incorporated Blackbird. Now they are expanding to San Francisco and LA after the successful NYC pilot.

Beyond the basic personal data, Blackbird gathers detailed check information, and each restaurant can establish its own reward system.

Diners earn “fly” credits, Blackbird's native tokens, comparable to credit card points, which can be redeemed across any Blackbird-affiliated restaurant.

For participating restaurants, this platform facilitates direct marketing to diners - a previously challenging problem in this industry. And diners are set up to be rewarded.

Why It Matters

Loyalty programs are one of the lowest hanging fruit use cases for NFTs, and the restaurant industry is fairly ripe for disruption here.

Outside of a handful of major restaurant groups offering points systems, rewards are fairly non-existent.

As we've learned in the NFT and crypto market - incentives drive behavior. And the restaurants who can provide the best incentives will be set up best for success.

Now, let's let Ben and Blackbird cook...

๐Ÿ‘ฅ Friend Tech Trend Tracker

Some days feel like weeks (or months). Yesterday was one of those days in the Friend Tech market, which started with a broad sell-off, then panic, then a rebound rally and capped with the entry of a major player.

Let's start with the numbers.

Here are some of the core Friend Tech metrics for 10/5 and their day-over-day change:

  • Return users: 8,878 -> 8,591 (-3%)
  • Daily Buy volume: $4.56M -> $4.24M (-7%) 
  • Total Volume: $10.4M -> $12.3M (+18%)
  • TVL: $47.3M -> $45.4M (-4%)
  • Highest key: Vombatus 8.24 -> 8.28 (+1%)

*TVL in ETH terms 28,720 -> 27,700 ETH (-3.5%)

Total volume spiked on the day, driven by sellers who were out in force.

We saw a whopping $8.02M in sales volume vs just $4.24M in buys - that's a recipe for a big red day.

Here's a quick summary of how things played out:

  • anon accounts in 3,3 start defecting, causes some selloff
  • King Mgugga and mcwop23 are sim swapped, causes panic (more selloff)
  • Hanwe dumps 33 of his own keys during selloff, leads to more selloff and confidence breaking - some users fully capitulate
  • FT team releases a major security update, allowing users to change login from phone to alternative method

The second the market realized that the team had addressed the sim swap issue, the bleeding stopped and buyers came back. 

Many leading accounts saw 10-20% rebounds off the bottom, and dip buyers were rewarded.

A few takeaways from this action:

  • Blind 3,3 (3,3ing with anonymous users) will likely fade in popularity, as people rotate back to aligned 3,3 or simply buying "value"
  • The security fix was a relief but just a temporary patch  - more updates are expected in the near future
  • Hanwe and others who capitulated during the bleeding severely hurt their FT reputations - we will soon see how irreparable the damage is or if money solves these issues

The other major event of the day was Machi Big Brother finally entering Friend Tech.

I missed the action with my early bedtime, but as I understand it:

  • He botted 101 of his own keys at launch
  • CBB claims to have acquired 107 Machi keys during launch
  • His key immediately ripped past 3.5 ETH, now 3.7 this morning

Machi is the new wildcard to watch, especially with Hanwe's sentiment trending down.

For today, we await more news from Machi, pre-snapshot market action and any more updates from the team hinting at next security updates.

๐Ÿšš What else is happening in NFTs?

Here is the list of other notable headlines from the day in NFTs:

  • Trading volume jumped 30% back to $7.2M (4,400 ETH) on Wednesday, while the leaderboard saw mostly green
  • Pudgy Penguins and Otherdeeds led top movers, with Pudgy's +7% to 5.65 ETH and Otherdeeds +14% to 0.66 ETH (Lil Pudgy's +17% as well)
  • Speaking of, the Pudgy Penguins Chief Creative Officer teased a collab with LA-based cookie company, Last Crumb, for some Pudgy-themed cookies coming soon
  • RTFKT says Nike Dunk Genesis SZN is starting soon, with a forging event starting on Oct. 18, with additional events and forges hosted until Nov. 20
  • Nike .SWOOSH unveiled the Air Force 1 Low "TINAJ," exclusive with .SWOOSH branding and for the digital platform users
  • DraftKings Reignmakers Week 5 Rush Packs dropped last night, driving $630k in sales volume (3rd behind DMarket and CryptoPunks in all of NFTs); catch up on what you can expect with this primer from our Jason Rouslin

๐ŸŒŽ Around Crypto and Web3

A few other Crypto and Web3 headlines that caught my eye:

  • The crypto market mostly chopped on Tuesday; BTC +0.6% at $27,730; ETH -0.5% at $1,640; SOL -1% at $23.30
  • The Hong Kong Stock Exchange launched a blockchain-based settlement platform, incorporating smart contracts to execute certain workflows and reduce settlement risk
  • The NBA, NBA Players Association, and Dapper Labs were named as defendants in a new class action lawsuit for allegedly violating the Video Privacy Protect Act (VPPA) by sharing users' video consumption details without informed consent

๐Ÿš€ NFT Total Volume

  • MAYC (456 ETH, 5.03 ETH Floor)
  • BAYC (423 ETH, 26.39 ETH)
  • Pudgy Penguins (406 ETH, 5.65 ETH)
  • DeGods (250 ETH, 3.2 ETH)
  • Wrapped CryptoPunks (215 ETH, 43.6 ETH)

๐Ÿ“ˆ NFT Floor Price Increase

  • Project Atama (107%, 0.31 ETH Floor)
  • Jerks (56%, 0.14 ETH)
  • Chimpers (23%, 0.29 ETH)
  • Cool Cats (19%, 0.55 ETH)
  • Lil Pudgys (17%, 0.49 ETH)

๐Ÿ—“ Upcoming NFT Mints and Reveals

Today's drops span brands like adidas, Starbucks and some major artists in the art sector.

See the full list and dive in for more details with Swizzy's daily mint monitor

  • Moncler x Adidas Originals (10:00 a.m. ET)
  • Amber Vittoria - Figments (12:00 p.m. ET)
  • Starbucks - 20 Years of PSL (3:00 p.m. eT)
  • Larry Stewart - FACES (6:00 p.m. ET)
  • Marco Mori - Heads (6:30 p.m. ET)

Enjoy this write-up and/or want to sponsor the Morning Minute? Follow along with me on Twitter @tyler_did_it or reach out via email

For all volume and floor price data, see Lucky Trader's Project Rankings page.

For all upcoming mints, see Lucky Trader's NFT Calendar page.

Disclaimer: The author or members of the Lucky Trader staff may own NFTs discussed in this post. Furthermore, the information contained on this website or the Lucky Trader mobile application is not intended as, and shall not be understood or construed as financial advice. AI may have assisted in the creation of this content.