Level Equity invests US$23 million in SevenFiftyBy Roger Morris
Level Equity has made a US$23 million investment in American firm SevenFifty, the largest online B2B marketplace for the US$1.4 trillion beverage alcohol industry.
The news is an important step towards the company being acquired or publically listed through an IPO, SevenFifty co-founder and CEO, Aaron Sherman, said. However, he insisted there was no firm timetable for this to occur.
The Series B investment also indicates that the San Francisco- and New York-based investment firm is pleased with the progress SevenFifty has been making. In 2016, Level Equity also invested in the growing firm in its initial 2016 round of funding.
“When we launched in 2011, we bootstrapped (using personal financing) for the first year or two,” Sherman said. Although an important financial partner, Level Equity is not involved in the day to day running of the company, he said.
Sherman indicated SevenFifty has no current plans to grow by acquisition. Instead, the US$23 million cash infusion will be used to continue to build out the business, which, it says, increased revenues by almost 100% year over year in 2020.
Today, it claims to be the largest online B2B marketplace for the alcohol trade with over 90,000 restaurant and retail buyers using the site in 46 states and Ontario, Canada.
Although SevenFifty was headquartered in New York City, Sherman says the company inadvertently “beat Covid.” “We moved out of our New York offices in December 2019 and now have about 100 employees working in around 20 different states.”
In making the funding announcement, Sherman said, “SevenFifty’s mission is to power a connected beverage alcohol supply chain, and with this new funding we unlock the capacity to accelerate our growth and meet the demands of our partners across every category of the industry.”
“We’ve done exceptionally well backing domain experts who build critical technology in complex and fragmented industries, especially as those industries undergo secular shifts towards technology adoption,” said Ben Levin, founder and co-CEO of Level Equity.
“We have been impressed by SevenFifty’s ability to expand its footprint over the past few years, growing the value of the platform beyond just restaurant and retail buyers and earning the trust of producers, importers and distributors working across the trade,” he added.
Level Equity manages more than US$1.7 billion across a series of long-term, committed investment partnerships.