Boston-based Drizly has been a pioneer in letting you order alcohol for delivery right from an app and turning it into a broader ecommerce play, even making Amazon follow in its footsteps with the Seattle company’s own service.
Drizly will give you an experience that you can’t find or replicate in the physical world.
But while the company has seen significant growth and is expected to reach profitability in 2017, there’s still one big obstacle: many people still think alcohol delivery is illegal, according to Drizly CEO and co-founder Nick Rellas. And, of course, there’s that whole thing of fighting to stay on top of Amazon and other competitors entering the market.
To that end, Drizly announced on Thursday that it has raised a $15 million Series B round led by Polaris Partners with participation from existing investors, and the funding, which now totals about $33 million, will be used in part to make a huge marketing push to spread the good news that Drizly’s business is all above board and better than the rest.
“We have a difficult but exciting job to let people know that not only is it legal,” Drizly CEO and co-founder Nick Rellas told BostInno, “but Drizly will give you an experience that you can’t find or replicate in the physical world.”
The funding will also be used to further expand beyond the 23 cities its currently serving and reach 30 by the end of the year, Rellas said. He added that Drizly will have some sort of product announcements in the fall that will play off the different ways people buy and sell alcohol, though he was tightlipped about the specifics for now.
Drizly also plans to add another 15 to 20 employees over the next 12 months its current team of 60.
For the last two years, Rellas said the company has been growing in revenue, orders and users 18-25 percent every month, bringing the company on track to see a nearly fivefold increase in business this year (Rellas declined to discuss revenue numbers). And the company doesn’t just have growth on its side: Rellas said the company is expected to become profitable next year, with margins currently around 80 percent and soon projected to surpass 90 percent.
That means Drizly is fitting into the mold of startups that venture capitalists are beginning to prefer in a tighter capital market: growing fast, but also doing a decent job with the bottom line. Rellas said he chalks that up to running Drizly as an asset-light business with a disciplined operation.
“That’s one of the reasons why investors continue to be excited about us,” Rellas said. “We’re a tech company in a really big opportunity that can be not only profitable but also one of the next big companies.”