DURHAM – Lolli, a Durham-based bitcoin rewards app company, announced an $8 million funding round today, and MrBeast is one of the investors.

Jimmy Donaldson, more commonly known as MrBeast, is an American YouTuber who grew up in Greenville, N.C. Named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2023, he’s reportedly worth half a billion dollars.

According to Alex Adelman, CEO and Founder of Lolli, MrBeast’s company Night Media invested in Lolli’s Series B raise.

MrBeats in photo frm his YouTube community page.

A few other North Carolina investors joined the round, Adelman told TechWire; he named Rahul Pagidipati of Durham and Marshall Sandman of Animal Capital.

TechWire asked Adelman to describe what the process was like, raising a Series B in this funding market.

“The market is certainly tough for venture backed companies,” said Adelman. “But Lolli has been fortunate to have had strong interest in our business model and mission from investors throughout our fundraising process.”

Adelman also said that the company explored other options before pursuing venture capital.

“We received significant M&A interest in parallel with our initial fundraising efforts, before deciding that the best path for us was to remain independent and grow the company through fundraising,” said Adelman. “Today, we are proud to be growing fast and hiring across the organization to fuel our ongoing expansion.”

Adelman, who was born and raised in Charlotte, attended UNC-Chapel Hill, and he says that most of the Lolli team is based in the Triangle. He shared that Lolli has 20 employees currently, with plans to grow their Durham-based operation.

Bitcoin Rewards for Shopping

Lolli is a Bitcoin rewards app, meaning that users can collect Bitcoin rewards by shopping through Lolli.

“We have over 1,000 merchant partners that pay us when our users shop,” said Adelman. “Once a shopper checks out, stores pay us, and we pay our users, sending free money in the form of bitcoin or cash to their Lolli wallet.”

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency have been hot topics these last few years, as their value has been up and down. But according to Adelman, that didn’t deter investors from this Series B round.

“New investors have often been surprised to see that demand for earning bitcoin rewards with Lolli has remained strong throughout different market cycles,” Adelman. “This is largely because many of our users understand the value of ‘earning the dip’ – that is, earning bitcoin rewards when the market is down and watching the value of their rewards surge when bitcoin’s price increases.”

Adelman shared that their growth has been strong throughout the cryptocurrency market swings.

“Since our users are fairly price-resilient, even with crypto down this year, we have continued to see strong, even growing interest in Lolli with our active users increasing by over 35% this year,” said Adelman.