Hooch, a members-only cocktail-of-the-day subscription app, has just raised $1.5 million in new funding, reports TechCrunch. This new funding brings the grand total raised to $2.7 million, and will allow innovative start-up Hooch to expand to 35 cities in 2017, including San Francisco, Seattle, Las Vegas and Houston. According to FinSMEs, the latest funding round was led by Blue Scorpion Investments. Other investors include Len Blavatnik, Chris Burch, Shaun White, Russell Simmons, Dan Caten and Dean Caten.
The Hooch app was launched last November by Aleksey Kernes of Hotel Chantelle, tech industry expert Lin Dai and digital marketing entrepreneur Jared Christopherson. The trio created a members-only cocktail subscription app – Hooch – where members could go to wine bars, clubs, lounges, restaurants and other venue partners to get one signature cocktail per day, for just $9.99 a month, or $99 a year.
The goal is to introduce subscribers to different venues, both new and renowned including Dream Hotels, The London Hotel and Laduree, giving those venues a built-in audience who might purchase additional beverages and food during their visits. \
Currently, Hooch is available in more than 400 venues in nine markets (New York City, New Jersey, Los Angeles, Miami, Dallas, Austin, San Diego, Phoenix and Hong Kong). FinSMEs reports that Hooch has recently acquired New York nightlife apps Flux and Grotto and Phoenix nightlife app Tipsy as part of its growth strategy.
“We could not be more thrilled about the level of interests from such renowned investors and industry titans,” said Lin Dai, CEO of Hooch, in an article on The Drinks Business.
“It’s a strong vote of confidence from the Angels and VC community validated by our strong growth trends not only in membership, but drink redemption activities in general as the Hooch App becomes the millennials’ nightlife app of choice,” added Dai.
In addition to expanding its market, TechCrunch says Hooch also plans to:
- Raise $4 million to $5 million in Series A funding in early 2017.
- Add product enhancements such as “touchless redemption” for redeeming daily drinks.
- Creating a mobile payment solution to pay for additional drinks and food directly through the app.
We love the innovation that we are seeing in the service industry including everything from coffee (CUPS) and cocktail clubs (Hooch) to daily lunches (MealPass) and supper clubs (Dinner Lab). The subscription model offers these startups the opportunity to create a winning combination for the companies themselves, their partners and their members and subscribers.
These subscriptions and memberships create an opportunity for customers to discover new venues whether they are coffee shops, restaurants, wine bars, lounges, daily lunch spots or fine dining. The subscription companies are supporting these local businesses – typically in their own neighborhoods or markets – by bringing customers to them, and the subscribers win because they get introduced to businesses they may not have learned about otherwise. The subscription company, of course, wins because they are filling a need and making money in the process.
We are excited to see what 2017 holds for Hooch, and we look forward to what other subscription companies can learn from Hooch’s example. Cheers to innovation!