Warren Feder, Partner, discusses how Carl Marks Advisors recently helped Genie, an early stage food tech company, raise $10 million in equity growth capital.

Carl Marks Securities has just successfully raised over $10 million of equity growth capital for an early stage Israeli food tech company, Genie Enterprises.  Isn’t this unusual for you and for Carl Marks Advisors?

It certainly is. While we are a FINRA registered broker-dealer and frequently raise debt and equity capital, we generally do this for more established businesses with a history of revenue and profits.

So why the capital raise for Genie?

We were introduced to Genie by their food regulatory counsel, Goodwin. After my partner Mark Claster and I tasted the food and met the people, we were hooked and wanted to invest ourselves. The company did not want to pursue the traditional venture capital route that culminates in a quick sale. They wanted an active partner with a longer term view to help build the largest food company in the world.

What does Genie do?

Genie cooks delicious, healthy affordable meals at the touch of a button in 2-3 minutes. Genie is an integrated food system consisting of a smart oven that cooks only Genie meals that are contained in pre-sealed individual pods. The Genie smart oven scans the bar code on the pod which tells it how to cook that particular meal from steaming to cooling to convection baking to microwaving – all in 2-3 minutes. The meals are restaurant quality and made from dry and fresh dried ingredients without any preservatives, artificial flavorings or additives.

What is the Company’s business plan?

Genie wants to feed the world tasty nutritious food that is affordable and convenient – quick quality as its CMO says.  The founders have a long term goal and would like to change the way the world sources, buys, stores, cooks and eats food. The business model is similar to that of Keurig – selling meals over and over again with the smart oven as a means of cooking them.

And what will be Carl Marks’ role moving forward?

We are both investors and financial advisors to the Company. Carl Marks and its principals invested personally and I will serve as an observer on the board. The fact is, we are very committed to Genie and look forward to working with the Genie team in helping them achieve their vision.