SevenFifty, an online marketplace and data platform for the U.S. alcohol beverage industry, has acquired Bridge, a Tampa tech company that specializes in ecommerce platforms for independent retailers of wine, beer and spirits.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
There’s a lot of operational and product overlap between Bridge and SevenFifty, said Alex Miningham, Bridge co-founder. He will transition to a new role as vice president of data strategy for SevenFifty.
“They work with 20,000-plus retailers. That’s our target market. They want to do more with the data they have,” Miningham said.
With the acquisition of Bridge and its retail platform, SevenFifty will fast-track its new ecommerce platform for off-premise retail. The platform will be branded as SevenFifty Storefronts and will roll out to 750 retail storefronts, likely around the end of July, Miningham said.
The COVID-19 pandemic was a boon for Bridge and for online alcohol sales overall. Sales were up 234 percent during the seven-week period ended April 18, according to Nielsen US research quoted in a news release about the deal. The retailers Bridge serves saw sales jump 400 percent between mid-March and mid-April, Miningham said.
Bridge, originally named Proof Network Ventures Inc., was founded in 2018 as a result of a merger with Tipsi and a subsequent acquisition of Drync. The company rebranded as Bridge in October 2019.
Florida Funders, a hybrid venture capital and crowd-funding platform in Tampa, was the lead investor in Bridge’s equity round in November 2019, which also included Manole Capital Management and a number of angel investors.
“Florida Funders celebrates Bridge’s acquisition by SevenFifty as it marks a notably successful exit for our firm,” Tom Wallace, managing partner for Florida Funders, said in a separate news release. “Bridge brought an invaluable service to companies and made them a key player in the beverage alcohol space. We look forward to adding startups as diverse and distinctive as Bridge to our portfolio and bringing more success stories to the Startup State.”
Bridge has a small team that also will stay on with SevenFifty, Miningham said.
SevenFifty’s headquarters is in New York, but the company has a fully distributed workforce that works remotely. The same is true for Bridge, which is a member of Embarc Collective in downtown Tampa. Miningham said he expects SevenFifty to consider Tampa as a secondary headquarters.