OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — When King G, a bar and delicatessen, opens in Kansas City, Missouri’s Crossroads District this summer, it’ll be thanks to dozens of local investors. Owner Eric Flanagan used crowdfunding company Mainvest to raise money.
“Crowdfunding was kind of the last thing I was looking at,” Flanagan said.
The entrepreneur said Mainvest’s dedication to helping small businesses convinced him to try it.
Mainvest works by pooling together lots of, oftentimes, small investments into one big loan. Investors are most often people who anticipate visiting the business they’re supporting and want to see it succeed. As the business succeeds, investors get their money back with interest. In King G’s case, investors can also qualify for perks. Someone who invests $1,000 will get 10 percent off their bar tab forever.
"I want [investors] to make money,” Flanagan said. “If they're making money, we're making money, that's the way I look at it."
Mainvest, based in Salem, Massachusetts, has seen an increase in use over the past six months as businesses launch or attempt to recover from the pandemic.
“We’re kind of entering this world of rebuilding and kind of reclaiming Main Street. So what we're seeing is a ton of opportunity across new entrepreneurs and experienced entrepreneurs launching new ventures and being able to go and engage directly with the community so that they're getting the capital they need, and alongside that, opening their doors to 200 to 500, on average, people that have voted with their wallets and are super-aligned and incentivized for that business to grow and provide that value to the community,” Mainvest co-founder and CEO Nick Mathews explained.
Mainvest follows federal regulations and Mathews does point out there is always risk involved in an investment. But so far, about 97 percent of businesses using Mainvest are meeting their predicted return rate.
“If I didn’t feel so attached to the location and believe in the location and the neighborhood, I should say, everybody who’s in this neighborhood, I probably would’ve walked [away],” Flanagan said. “But I never really thought about it because I love it down here.”
The bar is named after King Gambrinus, a saint of beer and joy mostly celebrated in European folklore. A two-story mural of King Gambrinus will cover a wall inside the bar.
Flanagan said the bar will open later in the afternoons, but a connected delicatessen will open for lunch and remain open into the night. Chef Howard Hanna of The Rieger has helped craft the sandwiches which will be for sale.
Flanagan said a lower level “pit” bar will be available to rent for private events and holiday parties.
King G is scheduled to open on Friday, Aug. 6.
The deadline to sign up to invest in King G via Mainvest is Friday, June 11.