Type: Case Studies
Date: 05/12/2021

Building the Future of the Restaurant Industry

Tapville Franchising Inc. (dba Tapville) is a tech-forward food and beverage franchiser that supplies self-pour technology for breweries, brewpubs, and similar outlets. Innovations like advanced data collection and self-service technology give Tapville locations the capacity to take remarkable strides in the optimization of the customer experience, all while drastically cutting costs of a traditional restaurant.

The Challenge

As a franchiser, Tapville needed to grow both its ultimate consumer base and attract growth capital. A crowdfunding raise was an ideal solution, as Tapville could deploy its limited marketing budget efficiently to advertise both its product and its equity raise simultaneously.

Taft in Action

By facilitating large numbers of relatively small investments, crowdfunding enables public-facing startups such as Tapville to leverage their existing brand and goodwill into significant equity capital investments from retail (non-accredited) investors. When patrons at restaurants and bars learn about Tapville’s technology, a quick internet search leads to Tapville’s crowdfunding raise and the opportunity to invest. Taft attorneys Patrick Wartan, Matthew Godfrey, and Abe Wehbi worked closely with StartEngine’s legal team to advise and assist Tapville to reorganize as a Delaware corporation and comply with applicable SEC requirements. Tailoring the approach primed Tapville to scale with greater flexibility compared to traditional angel/venture investments.

Results and Impact

Operating across disciplines at the intersection of SEC rules, startup finance, and liquor/health regulation, the Taft team set Tapville on the path for a successful, and legally sound, crowdfunding campaign and future growth. Tapville closed its crowdfunding offering and raised approximately $1,070,000 from 2,014 investors at a $4,500,000 valuation through StartEngine, and now has locations in Naperville and Elmhurst, Ill.; mobile taproom locations in Western Connecticut and Naperville; and kiosks in Rosemont and Aurora, Ill.

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