Now in 30 cities across the country, the membership-based supper club Dinner Lab has no intention of stopping. The company has just announced a completed Series A round of $7 million.
The recent funding follows a crowdfunding round of $2 million raised last December, which was raised directly by reaching out to Dinner Lab members.. This time, $5.3 of the $7 million was led by James River Capital and the remaining $1.7 million was again raised through reaching out to qualified investor members.
Dinner Lab now has around 25,000, the source of most of its revenue. The recent funding will help the company expand into new markets.
Co-founder and CEO Brian Bordainick says he has traveled more than 120,000 miles since January 2015, securing meetings and funding along the way. “It can be quite daunting, but is a necessary part of the job,” he told Silicon Bayou News.
Bordainick says the key to raising funding outside of Silicon Valley is building face-to-face relationships with investors.
“At the end of the day, it isn’t that difficult to get in front of institutional investors; they’re paid to take meetings with early stage companies. The real challenge lies in the fact that money is seldom raised in the board room. It usually gets down to developing relationships with require face time. If you are going to be in a non-major market, you’re going to have to spend time creating those types of relationships.”
Although New Orleans is not known for having a lot of capital, Bordainick says, “we have a lot of our investor base here in NOLA and we’re damn proud of that.”