AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, Ghost Financial announced it emerged from stealth with $2.5 million raised with the help of world-renowned pre-seed investors. Ghost Financial is a comprehensive financing and business services platform to support ghost kitchen and restaurant ventures by offering financial products such as insurance, payroll, credit cards and expansion loans for startup & growing kitchens.
Using an AI algorithm, Ghost Financial is able to make quick and accurate financial decisions to provide revenue-generating incentives like cashback credit cards to fund inventory expenses, as well as provide data-informed expansion loan decisions. The platform enables a low-risk way for emerging restaurant brands to enter their first market and effectively expand into others.
During its pre-seed round, Ghost Financial secured a 50-50 gender split of investors, after making a monumental effort to bring in female angels & female-led funds. Pre-seed investors for Ghost Financial include HOF Capital, 305 Ventures, Hustle Fund, Active Capital, Anthony Ghosn, The Council, Amber Illig, Dr. Molly Maloof, Sarah Kaney, Meg Fitzpatrick, Samantha Stein, Sabrina Halper, Kosinski Ventures, House Capital, Starship Ventures, Ben Yu, Adam Guild, Cory Levy, Ditec Ventures, Draft Ventures, Pareto20, Kepler Operator Fund, and more.
Due to the pandemic and increase in food deliveries, there has been a rise in ghost kitchens. Research is showing that by 2030, ghost kitchens will be a one trillion dollar industry. After owning his own ghost kitchen in Austin, Texas, for the past year, John Meyer, CEO and founder of Ghost Financial, saw the major need for a fintech company within the ghost kitchen space. As a ghost kitchen operator himself, Meyer saw that:
- Most ghost kitchen and restaurant operators buy their inventory using cash, ACH, or a debit card, yet spend a minimum of 5-figures per month on such inventory
- Ghost kitchen and restaurant operators struggle to know where to go for payroll or insurance
- Adding even just a single percentage point in profit margins is “game-changing” to a ghost kitchen or restaurant operator (average profit margin in restaurants is just 5%)
“It’s great to see a platform that is focused on building up the restaurant and food industry with new opportunities and a more cost-effective approach after the last two difficult years,” says Iron Chef and Owner of the restaurant, Reverence, in Harlem, Russell Jackson. “Now that startups and small independent restaurants have a solid partner to rely on through Ghost Financial, they are able to shorten the curve on their path to success.”
Banks are not keeping up with the demand because most traditionally don’t know what ghost kitchens are. Banks currently require credit checks and extensive business credit history along with:
- No payroll support
- No insurance
- Poor customer experience
- Weak underwriting, with no use of average food preparation times, employee retention, customer reviews, cooking pauses, cancellations, refunds, & early closings/late openings
“At Ghost Financial, we are leading with empathy — not our pockets — to create a truly independent financial and banking backbone for the restaurant and fast-growing ghost kitchen industry,” says serial entrepreneur, FOX Business futurist and venture capitalist, John Meyer. “That means: building a friendly financial partner that isn’t the landlord and isn’t the delivery app.”
"Having operated his very own ghost kitchen restaurant prior to starting Ghost Financial, I'm confident that John Meyer has the expertise, empathy, and experience to serve these operators and build best in class financial products,” says Director of Business Development at Active Capital, Chris Saum.
While Ghost Kitchens are the immediate focus for Ghost Financial, due to their immense need and scalability, Ghost Financial can also work with the nation’s 1M+ traditional restaurants.
For more information, please visit www.ghostfinancial.com.
About John Meyer
John Meyer is a serial entrepreneur, investor, and futurist who focuses on advising and investing in technology-heavy, high-impact companies that leap society forward. He is an avid tech analyst who speaks frequently on national and international news networks such as Fox Business News, CNBC, CBS, Yahoo News, Cheddar TV and more.
Backed by $148M in capital from, Khsola Ventures, Google Ventures, Thrive Capital, and more, Meyer is also the co-founder of Homebound (www.homebound.com), which is leveraging technology to transform the residential home market while rebuilding disaster-torn communities along the way.
Originally known for turning down a job at Apple (corporate) when he was 19, Meyer was one of the first 1,000 mobile app developers for the iPhone, building over 40 apps in the early days of the AppStore, including the world's first flashlight application.
Meyer is one of the youngest members in the 2017 “Forbes 30 Under 30” list and was one of twenty recipients of the Peter Thiel's Thiel Fellowship.