Entrepreneurship

Restaurant subscription service off to fast start with $2M crowdfunding campaign

RALEIGH – Offline, which offers a a restaurant subscription service designed to link eateries with people looking for new places to dine, is off to an appetizing start and investors are hungry for shares being offered through a crowdfunding campaign. Nearly 400 people have already signed on as of Wednesday afternoon – just hours after the campaign launched.

The startup, which is based in Raleigh and already has some high-profile investors, chose the Wefunder crowdfunding site as the market for a $2 million fundraise effort. And by 2 p.m. the entrepreneurs had pulled in nearly $1.4 million. By early Thursday the total reached $1.418 million.

Offline touts itself as: “A monthly subscription reimagining restaurant discovery.”

“The secret to Offline’s success is simple: we understand how to motivate people,” the startup says.

“Our product is the perfect combination of curation, focus, and urgency that gets people to try a new place in their city every single month.”

The new capital will be used to expand to additional markets beyond its first two: Raleigh, where it launched last year, and Charlotte earlier this year.

David Shaner (Offline photo)

“A huge part of the value of equity crowdfunding is the exposure and excitement that it generates for us as a company. Offline is the first company in North Carolina to ever launch an equity crowdfunding round while doing $1M+ in annual recurring revenue, and we have an opportunity here to get in front of so many new potential customers, partners, and community members,” CEO and co-founder David Shaner tells potential investors at the funding site.

Mark Easley, a Triangle investor and a backer of crowdfunding sites, sees a lot of potential in the Offline venture.

“I was one of the first investors in Offline, and I think David and his team have done an amazing job developing their company business model and strategy,” Easley tells WRAL TechWire. “Now they are entering the growth phase to expand Offline into more new cities.”

Easley, who helped pioneer the launching of crowdfunding in North Carolina, salutes Offline’s results.

“Today is the opening day of the public funding campaign, and Offline has already raised over $1,300,000 from the Offline supporters and community,” Easley says. “I believe this makes Offline the biggest investment crowdfunding campaign success so far in North Carolina. Anyone can invest in Offline for as little as $100.”

Shaner’s pitch

Backers in the $1 million institutional round included the high-profile Triangle-based Tweener Fund as well as Todd Pendo, the CEO of fast-growing unicorn startup Pendo.

In his pitch to crowdfunding backers, Shaner made the following points about the new venture:

1
📈 last 12 months $350K ➡️ $1M annual recurring revenue, 85% Gross Margin
2
💰 7,000+ paying subscribers with a 95% retention rate
3
🥘 100+ restaurants with a 97% retention rate
4
🌆 2nd market (Charlotte, NC) returned 100% of launch cost Day 1
5
💸 Investors: ex-CEO ANGI (IPO), CEO GDC (9-figure exit), CEO Pendo ($1BN valuation), Tweener Fund
6
🏆 efficient team turned $1M in invested capital into $1M/Y subscription revenue run rate

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