NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Carats & Cake, the first integrated marketing and point-of-sale financing solution for venues and property groups, today announced $19.3 million in financing led by Acrew Capital and Founders Fund. Today’s financing enables the B2B company to expand its role as a full-stack partner to event venues and property groups driving client discovery and marketing as well as digital invoicing and Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) financing. The investor syndicate further includes 1Sharpe Ventures, Moore Specialty Credit, Correlation Ventures, GMO VenturePartners, and Socially Financed as well as prominent individuals including SaaS pioneer Zach Nelson, investing legend Peter Lynch, experienced fintech leader and founder of Money20/20 Jonathan Weiner, and private equity entrepreneur Oskar Lewnowski. Carats & Cake’s innovative fintech solutions now bring the omnipresent BNPL consumer experience to events, improving cash flow and management, accelerating conversions, and setting a new industry standard for digital payments across property groups and the events they host.
“Whether a property is hosting a wedding, corporate conference, or holiday party, the revenue those events drive is material to healthy operations. With Carats & Cake’s suite of solutions we’re driving up the pace of conversions, improving cash flow, and providing a customer experience that today’s consumers have come to expect,” said Jess Conroy, Founder and CEO, Carats & Cake. “To date, we’ve seen incredible adoption of our initial BNPL solution indicating that consumers are interested in better managing their own finances while still enabling venues to thrive. We’re excited to work with more properties as they uplevel their financing solutions by layering us in with existing platforms driving an immediate impact to their bottom line.”
Since launching their proprietary solution, Carats & Cake has seen 53 percent of consumer payments across event types utilize BNPL. With Carats & Cake, these interest-free payments are divided out and due from the consumer month-over-month, while the venue receives payment in full at the time of the first installment. Carats & Cake has partnered with the Moore Specialty Credit team, an early lender and asset buyer in the digitally enabled point-of-sale and BNPL space, for the company’s debt financing. Additionally, Carats & Cake properties see improved operational efficiencies through less time chasing payments, with 81 percent of invoices sent through Carats & Cake’s invoicing tool being paid on time with 45 percent being made well ahead of the contracted due date. Average event value increases by 60 percent when hosts select the BNPL option as the ability to divide up large invoices allows for aligned venue and consumer objectives. Instead of negotiating a contract down to close a date, both parties are able to focus on hosting the best event possible.
“Buy-now-pay-later has become omnipresent in today’s retail shopping experience. But to unlock the same experience - and value proposition - for the services industries is an entirely different challenge, with a similarly massive opportunity. Carats & Cake has been working in the events industry for nearly a decade and uniquely has the relationships required to move property groups towards modern payments solutions,” said John Gardner, Acrew Capital. “To work in an industry for that long learning its pain points and internalizing those needs takes grit. We’re excited to partner with Jess and her growing team as they take the friction out of paying for events and ensure the long-term prosperity of properties that were impacted significantly over the last 18 months.”
Today’s funding will be used to accelerate hiring following the company’s expansion of its C-suite to most recently include Rhett Keller as Chief Revenue Officer, who previously worked as SVP Sales and Customer Success at PEX; Preetham Reddy as Chief Technology Officer, who has nearly two decades of fintech experience previously having led product development at Zillow, SoFi, and Figure; Carl Skanderup as Chief Marketing Officer, who has led content creation for a decade specifically in the event industry; and Michael Costigan as Chief Financial Officer / Chief Operating Officer, who most recently served as Head of Finance for Aven, and previously led finance for SoFi’s lending businesses.
“Venues have physical inventory limitations or days and space in which to throw events. Due to that, we often compete on price, but by providing easier to digest installment payment solutions that discussion is now largely moot,” said Ellen Christie, Director of Sales for Easton Porter Group, owner of Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards. “We began sending invoices with Carats & Cake and immediately saw accelerated payment dates; we also increased our deposit amounts. It was easy to begin utilizing and it's a relief to deliver a payment experience our clients expect. Only a partner like Carats & Cake, with their longevity and trust in this industry, would be welcomed with such open arms as our partner to modernize our financial solutions."
To learn more please visit: https://caratsandcake.com/business
About Carats & Cake
Carats & Cake is the first integrated marketing and point of sale financing solution for venues and property groups. Built by industry leaders, Carats & Cake has cultivated nearly a decade of trust with best-in-class businesses. We’ve created a space that connects our highly-engaged community with top industry venues and properties, and industry professionals.
Founded in 2013 as a marketing and discovery platform, Carats & Cake now has the fastest-growing online and social communities in the $100B events industry. We continue to innovate with tools that empower businesses to run more efficiently by seamlessly connecting our marketing foundation with the sales and financing solutions venues and property groups need most.