Tag Archives: Johann Moonesinghe

EquityEats Encourages Prequel Investors to Give Up Equity for Food and Drink Credits

Source: Washington City Paper Young & Hungry

D.C.-based crowdfunding platform EquityEats is turning away from its founding mission to allow anyone to become an equity investor in a restaurant. The company is now encouraging investors in its pop-up hub Prequel to convert their equity investments into food and drink credits.

Those who choose to cash out will get double their initial investment in food and drink credits toward Prequel’s rotating restaurants and house bar. So if they put in $100 and choose to divest, they get $200 in credit. If Prequel is profitable enough to make distributions that would exceed that amount, they’ll continue to earn profits in the form of additional credit.

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EquityEats Revamps Its Crowdfunding Model Again

Source: Washington City Paper Young & Hungry

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D.C.-based crowdfunding platform EquityEats is changing the way to raises money for restaurants for the second time since it launched last October.

Now, restaurants using the service will no longer offer equity in their businesses to non-accredited investors. Instead, individuals who don’t make $200,000 a year or have a net worth of at least $1 million to qualify as accredited investors will receive food and beverage credit for the full amount of their investments, which can range between $100 to $5,000. They’ll also get a 20 percent return each year in the form of dining credit, regardless of how profitable the restaurant is.

So, for example, if someone invests ...

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Prequel Founder’s Mom Will Cook Sri Lankan Dinners at the Pop-Up Hub

Source: Washington City Paper Young & Hungry

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Whenever EquityEats CEO Johann Moonesinghe‘s mom Ruth visits D.C., she always cooks a Sri Lankan meal for him and his friends.

“All his friends have told him him, ‘Johann, if your mom’s going to start a restaurant, we’ll invest,'” says Ruth. She has no plans to actually open a restaurant at this point, but she will be taking over the kitchen at her son’s pop-up venture, Prequel, which hosts a rotation of restaurant and bar concepts in Penn Quarter. Tickets for the Sri Lankan feast on July 31 and Aug. 1 are $50 per person.

Ruth, a high school calculus teacher in Pasadena, Calif., ...

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EquityEats Rethinks Its Timeline and Looks to Open Pop-Up Space

Source: Washington City Paper Young & Hungry

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When it launched in October, equity crowdfunding site EquityEats aimed to raise money for four new restaurants within 45 days. But two-and-a-half months after the launch, none of the projects have reached half of their goals, and two of them aren’t only around 10 percent of the way there. EquityEats, which allows investors to earn profits, not just perks, has extended all of the campaigns—with 67 more days to go.

Granted, EquityEats founder Johann Moonesinghe set out with some lofty ambitions. The restaurants seeking funding through the platform—a bakery, a seafood counter, a lobster and burger joint, and a seasonally-focused American restaurant—are aiming ...

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There’s Something Crawling Around in This Swag Bag

Source: Washington City Paper Young & Hungry

Between all the galas, fundraisers, and VIP events, D.C. is a city swimming in swag bags. But EquityEats—a new restaurant crowdfunding platform in which investors earn profits, not just perks—may have just outdone them all at its launch party last night. As guests parted the event at Doi Moi, hosts handed out bags with live lobsters.

The idea came from EquityEats CEO Johann Moonesinghe as a way to promote one of their restaurants seeking funding called Lighthouse, which plans to serve a menu limited to burgers and whole lobsters.

“We were kind of like, ‘Are you serious?'” says Steve Lucas, the vice ...

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A New Restaurant Crowdfunding Platform Offers Profits, Not Just Perks

Source: Washington City Paper Young & Hungry

For four years, Brittany Frick and Greg Kakaletris have talked about opening a seafood restaurant of their own. Inspired by a more than 100-year-old San Francisco institution called Swan Oyster Depot, they envisioned a small counter spot where the people cooking the food are also the ones serving it. Guests would sit on stools and chow down on smoked mussels, charred octopus salad, oysters, crudos, and other seafood dishes. They named it after a type of fisherman’s knot: Albright Special.

Kakaletris brings 10 years of front-of-house and bar experience at places like Estadio and 2 Birds 1 Stone...

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Four New Restaurants Seek Funding With the Launch of EquityEats

Source: Washington City Paper Young & Hungry

D.C.’s first restaurant equity crowdfunding site, EquityEats—where investors can earn profits, not just Kickstarter-like perks—launches today. Four businesses are seeking funding through the platform to start: a bakery, a seafood counter, a lobster and burger joint, and a seasonally focused American restaurant.

EquityEats is the brainchild of tech entrepreneur Johann Moonesinghe and co-founders Jason Pinto, Andrew Harris, and Steve Lucas. The team initially set out to allow anyone invest, but restrictions related to securities law and private investments proved too cumbersome. So at least for now, the platform will accept money exclusively from “accredited investors”—people with a net worth of $1 million (which can ...

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Equity Crowdfunding Site for Restaurants Prepares for D.C. Launch

Source: Washington City Paper Young & Hungry

downloadIf you want to be a restaurant investor, you pretty much have to be rich.

The Securities and Exchange Commission makes it a big pain for restaurants or other businesses to accept funds from anyone who isn’t an “accredited investor.” And to be an accredited investor, you have to have a net worth of $1 million (which can include assets owned jointly with a spouse, but not the value of their primary home), or an income of at least $200,000 for the last two years ($300,000 with a spouse). If you don’t have that kind of cash, you can technically ...

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