Fast-casual juice concept Pure Green raised $1 million through equity crowdfunding, a relatively new funding option that allows for investments of as little as $100.
One of the five-unit juice and smoothie chain’s missions is to “build healthier communities around the globe,” founder and CEO Ross Franklin said.
“Equity crowdfunding was a better fit for us than institutional capital,” Franklin said. “It’s much more in alignment with our mission. We liked the idea of raising money from the people.”
Equity crowdfunding, which became fully legal in 2016, allows a business to secure capital from unaccredited investors. As with any investment, those who provide capital can stand to profit if the business succeeds.
More than just raising money in the deal, a company stands to build an army of super fans as well.
Seventy to 80% of Pure Green’s investors contributed less than $500 during the 74-day campaign, Franklin said.
“They’ve not only made the investment,” he said. “But they went and ordered our product online. Our online sales went through the roof. They started writing reviews for us … They wanted Pure Green merchandise.”
The chain is launching a 50-item PG Gear line to keep up with demand, he said.
New York City-based Pure Green set its valuation cap at $12 million, four times its 2019 revenue.
The chain is using the $1 million to support existing operations amid the coronavirus pandemic, as well as aiding its franchise growth.
In addition to its New York City locations, Pure Green has one unit in Orlando with several more slated for Florida. It also plans to open units in Chicago, Philadelphia and Boston.