At USV, we are looking for applications that can bring hundreds of millions of users onto web3. As great as the decentralized finance and digital art applications of web3 are, they aren’t likely to get my mom or your mom onto web3.
One area we have been looking to for mainstream adoption is web3 loyalty programs. The use of “points” has made credit cards a source of great value for consumers over the last fifty years. Web3 has the opportunity to make “points” more fluid, more interoperable, and more valuable for consumers.
An obvious place to innovate in this market is the dining and hospitality sector. Diners should enjoy the same kind of loyalty programming that they find in other categories, like travel.
So we are excited to talk about our recent investment in Blackbird Labs.
Blackbird is a web3 loyalty and payments company, focused on leveraging the power of direct connectivity between restaurants and their guests. Blackbird will be among the first web3 platforms purpose-built for the hospitality industry.
Blackbird Labs was founded by Ben Leventhal, co-founder of Eater and Resy, two companies that have transformed the restaurant industry (Eater was acquired by Vox in 2013; Resy by American Express in 2019).
We have known Ben for a decade and a half and have admired the companies he has founded and built. We have been talking to him about opportunities at the intersection of web3 and hospitality for the last year and are excited to join Shine, Multicoin, and a host of other investors in Blackbird Labs.