Hooch, a subscription-based drink startup we’ve covered before has raised $1.5M in new funding, bringing total funds raised to $2.7M. All of the investors in this round were considered strategic by the startup, and include celebrities like Russell Simmons, Shaun White and Chris Burch.
As a refresher, the app charges $9.99 per month for the ability to claim one “free” drink each day at a different bar or club in your city. It’s a win-win; bars get new customers in the door while users get to discover new venues (and get a heavily discounted drink in the process). The app works with 400 bars across New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Dallas, Austin, San Diego, New Jersey, Phoenix and Hong Kong.
Hooch has also been able to sign on some established bars and clubs, including Dream Hotels, The London Hotel in Los Angeles and even Laduree in New York.
Signing up established partners is always a challenge for a new app in the hospitality and restaurant industry, and these well-known brands give Hooch major credibility in an industry where apps come and go even faster than new restaurants and bars do.
Hooch will use the funding to roll out product enhancements that are designed to make the app easier to use for both the bar and customer. For example Hooch will launch a “touchless redemption” process, so bartenders don’t have to grab your phone to confirm your free drink.
The startup is also working on a mobile payment solution where you could follow up on your free drink by ordering more drinks and paying your entire bar bill through the app. This could potentially be a lucrative feature for the company, as they would get a small slice of each transaction.
The company will also use this funding to expand geographically, and hopes to be in 35 cities in the next year and a half with San Francisco, Seattle and Houston being next on the list. To support this growth Hooch plans on raising a Series A in early 2017, with a target of $4-5M for the round.
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