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gDine Feasts on $500K

Lakshmi Capital, a private equity firm based in Chicago, invested $500,000 in the online group dining start-up.
CHICAGO, IL, gDine, the online "dining concierge" that launched in Chicago earlier this year, has attracted a new angel investor. Lakshmi Capital, a private equity firm based in Chicago, invested $500,000 in the online group dining start-up with an option to invest an additional $500,000 in three months.

Unlike other online discount portals, gDine works with local restaurant owners to create exclusive dining menus, special options and rates to groups ranging from two to 200. Diners can receive discounts of up to 50% at Chicago's best restaurants. Users book ahead, pay online and even have the option of splitting the bill with friends ahead of time. All this and diners never have to bring a coupon or voucher to the restaurant. It's the first time the industry has seen online shopping for dining experiences.

"Today's marketplace offers diners and restaurants various discounted options. gDine stands out among these options by offering a unique, on-demand service that gives its diners exclusive access to dining experiences at pre-negotiated rates," says Vijay Rao, a partner at Lakshmi Capital. "In addition, the gDine platform offers its restaurant partners a unique solution that will continue to drive significant business when they need it most. We are excited to have the opportunity to invest in and partner with gDine as it rapidly grows to serve both its restaurant partners and diners."

The angel funds will be used to help fuel gDine's expansion to New York City and other key markets along with increasing its management team in Chicago. gDine will be expanding to New York City in the next few months and expects to be operating in several other major US cities by 2012.

Launched in 2008, Lakshmi Capital's investments focus on early-stage healthcare, manufacturing, real estate and technology companies.

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