The Real Deal New York

Could East Village bar Death & Co. pioneer a new way for F&B brands to raise capital?

The speakeasy cocktail bar is using equity crowdfunding to fund its expansion into other markets
July 29, 2018 12:03PM

(Credit: Dawn Hudson, Max Pixel)

Speakeasy bar Death & Co. is looking to expand its cocktail empire by offering investors the chance to buy an ownership stake in their parent company, currently valued at $13 million, online.

Death & Co.’s umbrella company, hospitality group Gin & Luck, which includes a consultancy business and book and is run by the same management, is looking to raise $1.5 million in an unusual Series A funding round: investors chip in just as you contribute to a friend’s GoFundMe or Kickstarter campaign using equity crowdfunding site, SeedInvest, as reported by Bloomberg. The minimum buy-in is $1,000.

The new funds will go toward setting up new locations in cities including Los Angeles in 2019, Chicago, Atlanta, and Nashville. Death & Co. also has partnerships with Ramble Hotel and is looking to move into Kansas City, Indianapolis, and Boston. Together, the seven new projects are projected to boost total annual profits to the tune of $2.68 million, nearly double last year’s $1.8 million. The bar opened a location in Denver earlier this year.

Crowdfunded investing is a new approach that began following President Obama’s 2016 JOBS Act, which allowed non-accredited investors to get into the game. Previously investors needed to demonstrated their net worth or income in order to buy a stake in companies like Gin & Luck. The hospitality group launched their campaign on Friday and have raised $121,000 as of Sunday. It’s the first F&B brands to use the platform. [Bloomberg]