Drink-a-day startup Hooch raises $5M as it plans blockchain initiative

Right on the heels of launching its concierge service Hooch Black, Hooch announced today that it has raised$ 5 million in seed funding.

The company’s basic subscription of $9.99 get you one free beverage per day from a variety of partner bars and eateries. Hooch Black( which you have to apply for, and which expenses $295 per year) adds hotel deals, concierge service and other perks on top.

Even though Hooch had already raised $2.75 million in two pre-seed rounds, co-founder and CEO Lin Dai said it was more important to bring on strategic investors than it was to raise a lot of fund:” We feel like the most important thing for our business is genuinely the relationships .”

After all, he said the hospitality industry are dominated by” a few key companies ,” so success is determined by working with those companies — it’s not a situation where someone can just beat you by outspending you.

The funding was led by Revelis Capital Group and Blue Scorpion Investments, with participation from Access Industry Holdings, Warner Music Group( Dai used to say Hooch will be working with Warner Music on content, events and promotions ), FJ Labs, Diesel CEO Stefano Rosso, former Comcast CTO Sree Kotay and others.

At the same time, the company is expanding its advisory board to include Bob Hurst( previously vice chairman of Goldman Sachs ), Bonin Bough( former chief media and ecommerce officer at Mondelez) and Teymour Farman-Farmaian( previously CMO and CRO at Spotify and now managing director of Bitcoin wallet company Xapo ).

Dai also said Hooch is preparing to launch its blockchain initiative the summer months. What does blockchain have to do with free drinks? Well, Dai didn’t go into detail, but he suggested that by launching its own cryptocurrency token, Hooch could work with partners to create a” decentralized model for consumer rewards .”

Looking ahead, Dai said that Hooch might create a “proper” Series A in 12 to 18 months, though he expects to reach profitability before then.

” At that phase, we will have already constructed the moat around us with exclusive are dealing here with all the top hospitality and experiential players ,” he said.” That would be the appropriate time for us, if needed, to go back to a traditional round of funding .”

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