I love investing in companies that at first glance seem like they’d have a small market, but where further study shows that the market is orders of magnitude larger I originally thought. It’s even better when they can create a category.
That’s why I’m excited to finally be able to announce our investment in GroupRaise. We first invested in GroupRaise in early 2016 after I’d been trying to convince Devin Baptiste, GroupRaise’s cofounder and CEO, to let us invest since we started Magma back in 2013. After watching Devin, Sean, Kevin and Paul and the rest of the team set milestones and execute against them, while usually blowing them out of the water, it was a no brainer to invest again in 2017 when they asked for more capital to grow more quickly, especially when we’re able to invest alongside great investors like Techstars Ventures and Kapor Capital.
GroupRaise is a marketplace and booking engine that allows groups of 20-200 to books events in 5500+ restaurants in 150+ cities across the United States. Restaurants donate up to 25% of these groups’ bills to the organization or charity of their choice.
Why would restaurants want to do this? Most people think they’re just being good corporate citizens, and they are, as they’re giving back to their communities. But most people don’t realize that GroupRaise is one of the most cost effective ways of getting new clients into the restaurant and getting them to come back again. Of 100 people who go to a GroupRaise, 40 are new clients, 82 spend more than average and 96 come back in the future!
GroupRaise now moves a significant amount of monthly donations to organizations and charities and is one of the rare businesses that can do good in the world, while being a profitable business.
Based in the United States, GroupRaise has an international team with cofounders from 3 countries (South Korea, Guatemala, USA), employees from 9, and offices in three, including the US and Chile. They are part of the growing number of companies that have a sales and tech office in Latin America, but whose primary market is the US and are blazing a trail for Latin American companies to raise money in the United States.
In addition to watching the GroupRaise team continue to grow and achieve their goals they’ve set, getting to know Devin and working closely with him over the past year has been a highpoint of not just work but also my personal life.
I’m really excited to watch GroupRaise continue to be the tastiest way to change the world. If you live in the US, consider making your next event a GroupRaise!