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! (more…)